The University of Central Florida’s Racial and Gender Report Card gave the National Basketball Association (NBA) an A+ for its racial hiring practices and B for its gender hiring practices in 2020. The league earned a total score of 89.1 points which is lower compared to its 2019 score of 89.8.
According to UCF’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Director Richard Lapchick, despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA found a way to lead in men’s professional sports leagues when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
The report found an increase in the number of assistant coaches of color, professional staff of color in the league office and players of color. However, there was a slight decline in the hiring of people of color in senior management, team professional staff and head coaching roles.
In terms of gender hiring, the league made significant improvements in 2020. The number of women in professional positions in the league office has increased to 40.3% while the number of female assistant coaches has reached its highest level in league history. The NBA is also the only sports league with two women serving as presidents.
In addition, more teams have appointed women to either CEO or president. They include Jeanie Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers, Gillian Zucker of the LA Clippers, Matina Kolokotronis of the Sacramento Kings, Cynthia Marshall of the Dallas Mavericks, Gayle Benson of the New Orleans Pelicans and Gail Miller of the Utah Jazz.