According to Richard Lapchick, the study’s author, the NBA continues to lead the way on diversity issues in sport. The study found that 36 percent of the professional positions at the NBA League Office are held by people of color and women hold 44 percent of the professional positions. Both are higher than any other men’s professional league.
Below are some of the highlights reported by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport:
· In the NBA, 82 percent of the players were people of color, remaining constant from last year’s totals. This ties the highest percentage of players of color since the ‘94-95 season. The percentage of African-American players also remained constant from last year’s report at 77 percent. The percentage of Latinos and Asians remained constant, at three and one percent, respectively. The percentage of international players stayed steady as well at 18 percent.
· Professional opportunities for people of color in the NBA League Offices – at 36 percent – increased from 35 percent for the ‘08-09 season. This is the highest percentage in the NBA’s history and the highest in the history of any professional sport.
· Women held 44 percent of the professional positions in the NBA League Office. This increased by one percentage point from the previous Report Card and was higher than any other men’s professional league in any previous Report Card though still below the NBA’s high of 49 percent female professionals in the league office in ‘95-96.
· There were 34 women in vice president positions in the NBA League Office during the ‘09-10 NBA season, which is an increase of three.
· Michael Jordan, who owns the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, is men’s pro sports only African-American team majority owner. He succeeded Robert Johnson, previous owner of the Bobcats.
· There were one Asian and eight African-American head coaches at the beginning of the ‘09-10 NBA season. The percentage of head coaches of color dropped from 40 percent in ‘08-09 to 30 percent.
· 41 percent of assistant coaches in the NBA were coaches of color.
· As of the end of the ‘09-10 season, 56 percent of the NBA’s referees were white, 41 percent were African-American and three percent were Latino. Of the 60 referees, one was a woman.