The National Football League achieved its fifth consecutive A for racial hiring practices and a C- for gender hiring practices in the 2014 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card, released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida (UCF). This gave the NFL a combined B grade.
Using data from the 2013 season, the institute conducted an analysis of the demographics of players, managers and coaches. The report also analyses a racial and gender breakdown of top team management, senior administration, professional administration, physicians, head trainers and broadcasters.
The NFL’s score for race was its all-time best at 92.3 percent. The score for gender was 69 percent. The grade for race increased from 90 percent in 2013 while gender decreased from 71 percent. The overall grade for the NFL also increased slightly from 80.5 percent to 80.6 percent resulting in a B.
Richard Lapchick, director of TIDES and the primary author of the study, said,
“The initiatives of Commissioner Roger Goodell and Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, Robert Gulliver, have continued to bring good results for the NFL in racial hiring practices. At the league office, the example is being set for the teams by continuing to make improvements in the hiring of women and people of color in senior positions. Due to hiring and promotions, the total number of diverse employees at or above the VP level increased by three percent in 2014. The number of women at or above the VP level increased by five percent in 2014. The number of ethnically diverse employees at or above the VP level remained constant at 14 percent in 2014.”
Lapchick continued, “There was a major breakthrough in 2012 when Shahid Kahn became the first majority owner of color in the NFL after he purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars. This year the San Francisco 49ers promoted Paraag Marathe to team president after Gideon Yu stepped down from the position. Gideon Yu was the first president of color in the history of the NFL. Two of the 12 teams making the 2013-14 playoffs had an African-American coach. The coaches were Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers.”
The Report Card asks, “Are we playing fair when it comes to sports? Does everyone, regardless of race or gender, have a chance to score a touchdown or operate the business of professional football?” The answer is yes for racial hiring practices and not yet for gender hiring practices.
The NFL continues to struggle with gender hiring practices at the team level while there was a slight improvement for gender at the league level where a B- was earned for the first time.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), located at the University of Central Florida (UCF), publishes the Racial and Gender Report Card annually to indicate areas of improvement, stagnation, and regression in the racial and gender composition of professional and college sports personnel and to contribute to the improvement of integration in front office and college athletic department positions. The publication of the 2014 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card follows the publication of the reports on college sport, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball.
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