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The NBA is the leader in corporate diversity for sports

The National Basketball Association once again proves its leadership in diversity among America’s top four sport organizations (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL).   According to a report released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, The NBA received “an A for racial hiring and a B for gender hiring practices for the 2016-17 season. The NBA drew an overall grade of A-minus, continuing its run of A grades since the start of the 2000s.”

While mostly positive, there were areas deemed in need of improvement, specifically when it comes to women in upper management positions.  “The NBA also received a D for gender hiring for team vice presidents, with women making up 24 percent of the workforce in that area. Although women in team senior administrative positions jumped from 24 percent in 2015-16 to 29 percent this past season, the league earned a C-minus for gender hiring at the team level.”

Still, the NBA is doing much more for racial and gender diversity in corporate positions than all other sporting leagues.  Much of the success has been credited to the leadership of both David Stern and Adam Silver who helped promote and grow a league led by minorities.  The NBA also has the most owners of color than any league, currently with 3.  In addition, in terms of the workplace overall of the “NBA league office, 35 percent of the professional staff positions were held by people of color at the beginning of this season, with women at nearly 39 percent.”

The future looks exceptionally bright for the organization as the second highest official in the company is Mark Tatum.  “Tatum is the first African-American Deputy Commissioner of the NBA in history” and highest ranking African American in all four sports leagues.


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