Robert Selah

(Right) Robert Selah

While the National Football League and Miami Dolphins remain co-defendants in a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by former Dolphins coach Brian Flores, the league has shown some improvement in its diversity effort, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport [TIDES] Racial and Gender Report Card.

 TIDES, which is centered at the University of Central Florida, gave the NFL a B+ for racial hiring practices and a B for gender hiring practices.

The NFL earned a combined grade of a B, however the NFL’s score for race decreased to 85% percent, 3.5 percentage points lower than last year’s score of 88.5%.

The score for gender increased significantly to 81.4%, 6.4 percentage points higher than last year’s score of 75%. The NFL’s overall grade increased from 81.8% in 2021 to 83.2% in 2022.

Based on data from the NFL, TIDES compiled the grades using the gender breakdown of head coaches, assistant coaches, general managers, executive leadership, senior management, senior administration, and professional staff within the NFL League office and at the club level.

Richard Lapchick, TIDES director and the primary author of the study, said part of the decline is related to the adjustment of grading scale to reflect the 2020 census.

“However, the NFL has continued to make progress in the hiring practices within the League Office. In contrast, there is still room for improvement in the disparities in the racial and gender hiring practices between the NFL League Office and the 32 teams,” Lapchick wrote in the report.

“At the start of the 2022 season, there were eight people of color holding general manager positions, representing 25% of all general managers. That was up from five in 2021 and two in 2020 and represented was an increase of 9.4 percentage points from 2021, earning the NFL a B- for 2022.”

Lapchick said the NFL had improved “in all but a few areas”

This year the NFL reached multiple “all-time highs” including eight people of color as general managers, 27 people of color and five women as game officials, six women of color in coaching positions, three women as club presidents, and six people of color as club presidents.

At the beginning of the 2022 season, the NFL had 15 women in coaching roles which is the most ever in any professional men’s league covered in the Racial and Gender Report Card series.

“There were two first-time head coaches of color hired in 2021, Robert Saleh (NYJ) and David Culley (HOU). This year the NFL has a total of seven head coaches of color which is just one less than the highest recorded number of eight in 2011, 2017, and 2018,” Lapchick said.

The Miami Dolphins hired multi-racial coach Mike McDaniel to replace Flores, and Steve Wilkes was named interim coach to replace the fired Matt Rhule in Carolina.

The NFL’s worst grade, and it could not do worse, is an F in ownership. Just 3.1% of majority owners are people of color. 

Shad Khan, a Pakistani-born American businessman and the principal owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined NFL ownership in 2012. Kim Pegula, an Asian American woman, holds a major interest in the Buffalo Bills. She joined NFL ownership in 2014. There are seven women in the NFL as principal owners.

There are several potential ownership groups led by Black men that are reportedly interested in buying the Washington Commanders should beleaguered owner Daniel Snyder put the franchise up for sale. FORBES values the franchise at $5.6 billion

The Reid Roundup

With fellow St. Louisan Jayson Tatum nursing an ankle injury and not playing for Boston, the Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal stole the show with a 30-point, five rebound, four assist effort against the Celtics on Sunday. Tatum watched his Celtics move to an NBA-leading 16 wins with a 130-121 win… Kelvin Sampson has his Houston Cougars atop the AP Top 25 College Basketball poll for the first time since 1983 after No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels lost two games over the weekend…St. Louis native Caleb Love had 34 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in the Tar Heels’ 103-101 quadruple overtime loss to Alabama on Sunday. Love is averaging a team-high 20 points a game…David Shaw has stepped down as Stanford’s head football coach after 12 years. He leaves as the school’s winningest coach, accumulating 94 wins. He won three Pac-12 championships, was 2017 national coach of the year and a four-time Pac-12 coach of the year. He went just 14-28 over the last four seasons.

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