High marks all over for the NFL

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: September 29, 2010

NEW YORK — On Wednesday afternoon, the 2010 Racial and Gender Report Card for the NFL was issued by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.

The NFL earned an A grade for its racial hiring practices, which represents its best grade ever in that category. The league received a C for its gender hiring practices and a combined B grade for race and gender.

“The NFL continues to make positive strides in its racial hiring practices and received its first full A grade in this category,” said Richard Lapchick, director of TIDES and principal author of the report.

“The league should especially be commended for creating the position and then hiring Robert Gulliver as its executive vice president for human resources and chief diversity officer.”

“Looking ahead, much progress can still be made in the NFL’s gender hiring practices, as is the case with most other professional leagues and society in general. But the signs toward that goal are positive.”

Below are some of the report’s highlights:

· The NFL received its highest grade for racial hiring practices in the history of the NFL Racial and Gender Report Card.

· During the 2009 NFL season, the percentage of white players decreased slightly from 31 to 30 percent, while the percentage of African-American players remained constant at 67 percent.

· In the League Office, almost 25 percent of management was African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American and “other” during the 2010 season. Over 27 percent of the professionals were women.

· No person of color has ever held majority ownership of an NFL team.

· The six African-American head coaches at the start of the 2009 season remained in their capacity at the start of the 2010 season.

· The NFL started the 2010 season with five African-American general managers, just as it had started the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons. One of the five, Jerry Reese, became the first African-American general manager to win a Super Bowl when the New York Giants won in 2008.

· Amy Trask of the Oakland Raiders remained the only female president/CEO of a team in the NFL, a position she has held since 2005. There has never been a person of color serving as president or CEO in the history of the NFL.

· When Pittsburgh won the 2009 Super Bowl, Mike Tomlin became the second African-American head coach in three years to lead his team to a Super Bowl championship.

· Six out of the last eight Super Bowl teams have had either an African-American head coach or general manager: coaches Tony Dungy (Colts), Lovie Smith (Bears), Mike Tomlin (Steelers) and Jim Caldwell (Colts) and GMs Jerry Reese (Giants) and Rod Graves (Cardinals).

· The number of female vice presidents on NFL teams increased by five from 2008 to 2009 to a total of 25. Pamela Browner-Crawley of the Philadelphia Eagles became the first minority woman to hold a vice-president position in the NFL.

· People of color held more than 17 percent of senior administrator positions on NFL teams in the 2009 season. Seventeen percent of the total senior administrator positions were held by women.

· In 2009, the percentage of women in professional administrative positions on NFL teams dropped one percentage point to 28 percent.

· Latino radio and television broadcasters decreased two percentage points from 18 percent during the 2008 season to 16 percent at the beginning of 2009 season.

· The 2009 and 2010 Super Bowls each had two African-American officials.

The Racial and Gender Report Card is issued sport-by-sport. The NFL Racial and Gender Report Card is the fourth report issued so far in 2010 after the releases on Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the Women’s National Basketball Association.

This will be followed by reports on Major League Soccer and college sport, and the complete Racial and Gender Report Card will be issued thereafter.