More Than A Passing Grade

By The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport
Updated: September 24, 2009

NFL ORLANDO, Fla. — The NFL achieved an A‐ grade on racial hiring practices and a C on gender hiring practices in the 2009 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES). This gave the NFL a combined B.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport publishes the Racial and Gender Report Card 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 athletics department positions.

In the history of the NFL Racial and Gender Report Card, those are the best grades ever received in each category for the NFL. They improved significantly from the previous report from a score for race of 87.1 to 89.2 points out of 100.

This was the first grade issued for gender since the 2004 NFL RGRC when it received a D+. Using data from the 2008 season, The Institute conducted an analysis of racial breakdowns of the players, managers and coaches.

In addition, the Report includes a racial and gender breakdown of the top team management, senior administration, professional administration, physicians, head trainers, and broadcasters.

Coaches, general managers, presidents and owners were updated as of this past August 1. For the third consecutive year, African‐Americans played a significant role in the Super Bowl when Pittsburgh’s Coach Mike Tomlin helped lead his team to the Super Bowl championship.

In 2007, two African‐American head coaches faced each other in the Super Bowl for the first time and an African‐American general manager helped lead his team to a win in the 2008 Super Bowl.

The Report shows sustained progress in the key positions of head coach (seven in 2006, six in 2007, 2008 and 2009) and general manager (four in 2006, five in 2007, 2008 and 2009).

This marks only the fifth time the Report Card is being issued sport-by-sport; the reports for MLB, NBA and WNBA have already been released. The complete Racial and Gender Report Card, including all the leagues, will be issued after the release of subsequent individual reports on the MLS and college sport.

NOTE: For more on this report, log on to www.tidesport.org.