The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier basketball league in the world. With top talent throughout the association, and with the NBA reaching record levels of global interest and expansion, it is important that diversity and inclusion is present at all levels. Half a decade ago the league made history when Becky Hammon became the first female assistant coach in the NBA. This type of representation for qualified persons regardless of race and now gender speaks volumes about the sport.
It’s no wonder why the NBA is considered to be the premier sport when it comes to diversity and gender hiring practices as well. According to NBA.com, “The league earned an A+ for racial hiring practices and a B for gender hiring practices for an overall grade of an A. That keeps the NBA “significantly above” other professional sports, according to the report’s author Richard Lapchick, the director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.”
The report highlights data surrounding the league including the NBA league office having “the best record for people of color in men’s professional sports at a 36.4 percent employment rate.” In addition, when it comes to ownership, the NBA “which was first to have three team owners who are people of color, now has seven women who served as team presidents/CEOs during the 2017-2018 season – the highest among men’s professional sports.”
When it comes to coaches, GMs, and Vice Presidents, NBA is near the top in almost every category. Which is why it’s no surprises that the league is reaching record numbers in viewership and one of the few leagues growing in that area. Despite small hickups here and there “Lapchick called Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA the “industry leaders” among all men’s professional sports leagues in overall racial and gender hiring practices.”