Although the NFL office continues to receive high marks for its racial hiring practices, a report on diversity shows that significant progress is still needed at the team level.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released its annual report on race and gender on Wednesday, giving the NFL as a whole an A- for racial recruitment – its ninth consecutive year received a grade of or an A or better. The league received a C for gender-specific hiring, which earned it an overall score of B for its racial and sexist hiring practices.
The study's author, Richard Lapchick, said the league's hiring bill was "impressive," but warned that the 32 teams in the league must simply do a better job of hiring. people of color.
"This shows that throughout the league, especially at the commissioner's office, there is an attempt to create a strong foundation for diversity," said Lapchick. "But the league is ahead of the teams, especially when it comes to leadership positions for women and people of color."
The study found that out of 32 CEOs, only four – or 12.5% - were people of color. Lapchick stated that this did not adequately reflect a league whose players are mainly (72.6%) of people of color.
The TIDES report was based on the 2018 season, so it was completed before five cars of color were fired in the days following the season. There are currently only three coaches of color in the NFL – Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Rams, Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh and Ron Rivera of Carolina – although the Miami Dolphins are expected to hire Patriots assistant coach Brian Flores after the end of New England. play in the Super Bowl.
In 2017, the NFL tied its record of eight major color coaches, achieved in 2011, with the addition of Vance Joseph to Denver and Lynn.
The NFL has been working over the past year to reinforce the Rooney Rule, a mandate that colored coaches must be interviewed for any vacant head coach positions. The new rules stipulate that teams must now leave their own organization to interview a colored candidate or a candidate on the league's career development advisory committee.
Lapchick said that, based on the history of the NFL Race and Gender Hiring Report, the coaching changes are cyclical and he is confident that new coaches of color will be hired at the future.
Yet, he said, four cars of color are far too few.
TIDES announced on Wednesday that it was not releasing the number of people of color to NFL coordinator positions due to a discrepancy noted in the report.
The coordinator position was a matter of concern two years ago when Lapchick was embarrassed by the lack of progress at this position, considering that most head coaches are first coordinators. The percentage of assistant coaches of color has slightly decreased from 31.9% a year ago to 31.4% in 2017.
In terms of hiring men and women, Lapchick said that in general, none of the professional teams were doing well, with the exception of the NBA, where it is expected that the coach will soon be rely on a coach.
"That's something we need to pay more attention to," Lapchick said of the low number of gender-related hires.
The problem, of course, is that the NFL is a league composed – and played – by men, which puts women at a disadvantage when it comes to hiring.
But Lapchick still sees a place in the NFL teams where women can flourish on the business side.
"A woman can be trained as well as a man," Lapchick said.
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