American Professional Sports Teams Suck at Diversity and Inclusion

Written by
Marc Hardy

The New York Times recently published an article explaining that over the last 30 years, American Sports Franchises have made little to no progress in hiring more Black head coaches and upper-level management. Despite the NBA, NFL, WNBA mainly being made up of African American players.

Shocker right? I’d say no because not enough companies and organizations are as committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as they say they are. Goals are put into place but little is done to make sure these goals are reached. Many times, DEI leaders are not given the necessary resources to make the desired changes within the organization. But, this isn’t an article to complain about the lack of African Americans in upper-level sports management. CAN I BE REAL is all about finding solutions, so we have come up with a few.

These are all ideas I initially thought of when reading the New York Times article. Please let me know which ones you like best or what you would add. I do not guarantee these will work so please don’t hold it against me if they don’t. If they do though, I accept all forms of monetary payment so just let me know which one works best for you. 

  1. Include bonuses for organizations that hire coaches and upper-level management who represent the background of most of the league’s players. This can come in the form of monetary gain, contract incentives, additional draft picks, etc. Incentivize the organizations to make improvements.
  2. Owners and General Manager should be attending regular diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings and workshops like CAN I BE REAL Inc.’s MY PLAN Workshop that helps people create tangible plans to fight injustices. The goal of this is to help the owners understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. It will also help them understand that constantly working to improve in this area will ultimately benefit the organization as a whole.
  3. Create training programs for kids in the inner city to learn the business of sports. Teach them young the possibilities of sports business. This way more black kids are exposed to what it takes to run an NBA franchise outside of just being a player. Develop the talent young so that they can serve as valuable candidates when opportunities become available.

As a country, we have to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to making improvements to the racial disparities in our country. The professional sports leagues in America hold a lot of power and influence over adults and children. Change can be made, It’s a slow process but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. It’s time for these leagues to stop being insane.

*Also published on LinkedIn*



Published On
June 15, 2021
Marc Hardy
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