Thursday, June 16th, 2011 at 5:09 pm  |  36 responses

Study: 2011 NBA Racial and Gender Report Card

The NBA currently has the highest percentage of African-American athletes since the stat has been tracked. However, the percentage of white players in the NBA has reached an all-time low. Front office positions belonging to both women and people of color has risen since last year—once again everyone wants to be like Mike, as he is the lone African-American majority owner of an NBA team. Richard Lapchick, the author of this research, has shown that the NBA is leading all other major sports as the most uniquely diverse professional sport. In this report card Lapchick keeps us up to date with racial and gender issue progressions in the NBA.

The NBA remains the industry leader on issues related to racial and gender hiring practices. As the 2011 Racial and Gender Report Card shows, the National Basketball Association had the best grade among the men’s leagues for race and gender, as it has for two decades.

The NBA had an A+ for race and an A- for gender for a combined A.

Based on the total points used in the weighted scales, the NBA earned its highest combined grade ever at 92.2, up from its previous high of 91.5 in 2010. The NBA grade for race was 95.3, which was up significantly from the 2010 Report when it was 93.8.

The combined total and the total for race were both higher than for any other men’s sport in the history of the Racial and Gender Report Card.

The NBA again received men’s pro sports’ only A for a combined grade for race and gender.

In last year’s report, the NBA had an A for race, an A- for gender and a combined A.

Below are some of the report’s highlights:

–In the NBA, 83 percent of the players were people of color, an increase of one percentage point from last year’s totals. This represents the highest percentage of players of color since the Racial and Gender Report Card began reporting the composition of the NBA teams. The percentage of African-American players increased by one percentage point to 78 percent, equaling the highest since 2001-02. The percentage of Asians remained constant at 1 percent. The percentage of Latinos increased by one percentage point to 4 percent.  The percentage of people of color classified as other was slightly under 1 percent. The percentage of international players decreased by one percentage point to 17 percent, the lowest percentage since the 2003-04 season.

–At 17 percent, this was the lowest percentage of white players since the Racial and Gender Report Card began reporting the composition of the NBA teams.

–Women held 42 percent of the professional positions in the NBA League Office. This decreased by two percentage points from the previous Report Card.

–Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Bobcats, is the only African-American male team majority owner in the NBA. He succeeded Robert Johnson, previous owner of the Bobcats.

–There were nine African-American head coaches and one Asian head coach at the beginning of the 2010-11 NBA season. The percentage of head coaches of color increased from 30 percent in 2009-10 to 33 percent for 2010-2011.

–45 percent of assistant coaches in the NBA were coaches of color. This was the largest percentage since the RGRC began tracking this.

–At the beginning of the 2010-11 regular season, there were five African-American CEO’s/presidents in the NBA. Terdema Ussery of the Dallas Mavericks held the roles of both CEO and president.  African-Americans held 10 percent of the CEO/president positions, which is a decrease of two percentage points from the 2009-10 season.

–The percentage of people of color holding professional administrative positions on NBA teams increased from 26 percent in last year’s Report Card to 27 percent. Women occupied 39 percent of these positions in the 2010-11 season, which equaled the 2009-10 season’s total.

–As of the end of the 2010-11 season, 55 percent of the NBA’s referees were white, 42 percent were African-American and 3 percent were Latino. Of the 60 referees, one was a woman.

The Racial and Gender Report Card is issued in every sport. The NBA Racial and Gender Report Card follows the Major League Baseball study and is the second report issued in 2011.

The NBA Report Card will be followed by Report Cards on the Women’s National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Major League Soccer and College Sport. The complete Racial and Gender Report Card will be issued thereafter.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Dang, 17 percent??? My goodness

  • Groves

    why is this even measured, I would never employ someone just because they were black or white. you employ them because they are the best you can get and because they do the job, i don’t care if that means i’m hiring all white guys, all black guys or all asians as long as i have the best individuals i can get

  • BDiddy

    All my black friends were so pissed a white guy was whipping tail in the finals. EVERY ONE OF THEM was rooting for the heat because they hated Dirk and said a white man couldnt play ball, in their words. Not a one was to be found come the end of the 3rd quarter of game 6. They talked so much trash about Dirk and “White boy” was a common name they used for him. The only racism I have been seeing lately is the negative position that the white male has been pigeon holed into, but it seems this season Pareto’s law held true.

  • http://sdfklf.com Jukai

    I’m with Groves. The NBA at this point is pretty race neutral, so something like this doesn’t really need to be kept.

  • AJ Disco

    Don’t be racist, Dirk hit treys in their face and The mavs put the heat in their places, Cuban put the team on their plane and Matrix put LeBron on a chain, JET took fight over flight at the end of the game, Tyson Chandler defended so well you’ll remember his name. It doesnt matter if youre black or white, as long as you have heart, defense and can shoot out the lights, just because the man has skin thats bright, doesnt mean the man wont walk the rope thats tight, snopes his game and you will see who is right, look at this man, its his time tonight the Heat didnt have a prayer, D D D D Dirk is the MV Player.

  • Ronald

    @Groves: Because giant corporations are supposed meet a diversity quota? That’s why in specific industries being male or female can be an advantage depending on the year? I.E if a company was predominately male, bosses would be more inclined to hire female to balance the office out?

  • Eric

    African-American, but not Asian-American? RACISTS!!!

    First ‘Report Card’ that Asians came in the lower percentile.

    But in all seriousness, this is a pretty pointless “study”…

  • Will Lee

    thats how consultants make money, by telling something you don’t care anyways

  • Jemal

    Great study its important to keep this data available to the public. I’m American and my descendants are from Africa so i enjoy this stats. My parents are from the south and have not had the greatest American experience in this country so its important to see hear and feel progress

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I think this is kept simply because a good bit of people are curious.

  • D12FSU

    which head coach is asian???

  • Ronald

    Erik Spoelestra. Dude. Have you been hiding under the rock for a long time?

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    ^^LOL…I was wondering the same thing! I’ve been wondering what Spoelestra’s ethnicity was!

  • CeeLowe

    White players are at an all time low….. A+!!
    Something is a little off there. I’m not in anyway implying that there should be less black players, if you think I’m implying that your way too sensitive. But by grading something with the top mark because it has increased one race and decreased another…. Isn’t that a solid enough definition of racism? Encouraging one race over another?

  • Hoop

    Spoelstra is…Filipino-Dutch-Irish (thanks wikipedia). It sorta makes sense once you know.

  • Ronald

    @CeeLowe: The study focused on the management side of things. I.E Where pure athletic ability and physical attributes do not necessarily come into play. Encouraging one race over the other is also not racism.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Groves: I agree with your sentiments but unfortunately that’s not how the United States has worked for the majority of its time since becoming a nation. Not sure why you’d have a problem with a harmless little study.

  • CeeLowe

    @Ronald: I know jumping straight to extremities is too easy at times. But Hitler’s master race thing once encouraging one race over another. Just saying.

  • boomshakalaka

    If it was 83% white would it still score A+ for ‘diversity’?

  • MikeC.

    @Ronald – because this is such a potentially explosive topic, I’ll ask you to clarify your point before going off on you. Can you explain how “Encouraging one race over the other is also not racism” makes sense? To me, that’s the very definition of racism. I await your clarification/rebuttal.

  • MikeC.

    On the gender side of things, relating specifically to the refs, can we all agree that Violet Palmer is terrible at her job? At this point, I have to say (and I know the heat is coming for this) she’s around because she’s a girl and she’s the only girl ref. I’ve never seen a ref get overruled more often by other refs. She routinely makes poor calls on block/charges (which are tough to call in slo-mo much less real-time, but reffing pro ball isn’t my profession), and she gets bullied by star players. I’ve seen her change her call because someone glared at her. Try pulling that with Bob Delaney. She’s a woman in a position dominated by men. She keeps her job because she’s a woman. She’s doing a bad job at her job, which makes it harder for other women to get a similar position to prove that they can be good at it. Kinda odd how the NBA keeps a woman around to prove that they’re equal opportunity, but that lone woman is so bad at her job that it decreases opportunities for other women.

  • doyouwantmore

    If you want racism, look for the people who call other people racist. If you see someone calling someone else racist in order to devalue and minimize the value of an argument, then you know who the real racist is.

  • 4thQtrHero

    I hope this report lists how the players were divided. That might be interesting. I just look at these stats and think they don’t add up. You have 5 catergories; African-American, Asians, Latinos, people of color classified as other and white (not caucasian but white).The lowest 2 catergories had 1 percent for Asians and less than that for Others. Off the top of my head I can think of three asian players Yao Ming, Yi Jianlin and Wang Zhi Zhi (who might not be current). Please add more if you can think of any. Now for Others we’ve got Patty Mills, Nathan Jawai, Mickael Pietrus, Tony Parker, Ronny Turiaf, Nicolas Batum, Rodrigue Beaubois, Boris Diaw, Sam Dalembert, Johan Petro, Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, DJ Mbenga and Nene. And probably a lot more.

    So if I understand correctly this report on racism either found a lot more Asians playing in the NBA than I did or African-American is code for black. I think this report deserves an F.

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Hold up, wat is Ben Gordon?

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    So, do guys like Blake Griffin and Mike Bibby count for half a vote?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    ^^ Cosign that.
    And is BO$H! counted as a dinosaur or an alien?

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    reports like this create xenophobia IMO. you have to have the best people possible, not base it on gender, race… or should they make extra room for white players, given the mayority of fans who go to arenas are white?? smh…

  • Gaz

    BETCATS is gay regardless

  • MikeC.

    @ A l a n – if your theory ever becomes policy, I’ll be more than happy to drag down the quality of the NBA by filling a roster spot as well as a team’s “white guy” quota.

  • MikeC.

    The main point of this report is to track racial and gender equality in ownership as well as management, coaching, PR, HR, Finance, all that stuff on the business side of things. That is the area where discrimination is more likely to take place. When it comes to the players, the best players are chosen in the draft and as free agents. It’s not like a GM is going to say “I know that black guy is by far the best and the clear cut #1 pick, but we’re going to take this white stiff because I hate black people.” That’s unlikely. I know there are some instances of Free Agent signings that seem like GMs prefer the white dude (Brian Cardinal, Veal Scalabrine), but I think those GMs just needed to fill that 15th spot and said “I’m kinda tired, so just ask Scal if he wants to hang out with Kurt Thomas for a year, I’m going home for dinner”.

  • Groves

    Teddy the bear, i dont really have a problem with the study but rather i don’t understand why they wasted resources making such a study year in, year out.

  • http://nba.com EJ

    I bet the NHL is considered racist cause white people are good at hockey.

  • bike

    The reason the NBA has such a high percentage of African-American athletes is because African-Americans have, on average, genetic traits that translate into superior basketball skills versus other races. Long arms and legs, larger hands, and a higher percentage of fast twitch muscles fibers are some of the more significant traits.

  • asgf

    w8 they said thre counting genders too. but its all men. What we counting the amount of Chis Bosh’s?

  • 4thQtrHero

    @ Tae. What is Ben Gordon? Honestly I don’t know. He was born in England to Jamaican parents before moving to the US. He has dual citizenship (according to wiki). So what would you call him? This is why this report card is silly. I’d be inclined to just to call him Mr Gordon.

  • http://hartwigsen@gmal.com Mike Hartwigsen

    What was the racial makeup of the NBA in the 60′s and 70′s?