Aside from putting an emphasis on player safety with its 2019-20 season restart, the NBA has also made efforts to address the issues of systemic racism both within the organization and the communities they serve.
Among the notable concerns that have been voiced by a players’ coalition is the lack of African-American representation in front offices throughout the league. NBA officials and the Players Association recently met to discuss ways to continue raising awareness in the fight against racial injustice and other social issues.
The NBA is considered to be the most player-centric league in professional sports and have often set many precedents when it comes to progressive changes in recent years. It seems their efforts have received a favorable grade from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.
The NBA and WNBA both received As in the 2019 Racial and Gender Report Card done by TIDES, via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
The WNBA and NBA received an “A” or better in the overall grade in the 2019 Racial and Gender Report Card. MLS a “B” while MLB and NFL a “B-.” College Sports was again the lowest with a C+. For racial hiring practices, WNBA & NBA A+, MLS A, MLB got an A-. NFL & college sport B
The fact that the NBA and WNBA both graded out so well hardly comes as a surprise considering just how diverse these leagues are compared to other major sports.
The 2019 Racial and Gender Report Card: National Basketball Association pic.twitter.com/tKvv4zY5pB
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 24, 2020
Although they may have garnered nearly the highest grade that can be given, the NBA seems to understand full well that there is still plenty of work to be done. After all, commissioner Adam Silver and the NBPA are still finalizing a potential solution that will help players best utilize their platform to spark change during the season restart.
Aside from the racial aspect of the grade, the NBA has also shined a light on female coaches like Becky Hammon and Jenny Boucek breaking the gender barriers in the league. Meanwhile, teams like the Los Angeles Lakers recently took some initiative with the hiring of Dr. Karida Brown as the director of racial equity & action to help the team in their efforts to assist with social unease.
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