Report Finds Major League Baseball Lacks Racial, Gender Diversity

Report Finds Major League Baseball Lacks Racial, Gender Diversity

Richard Lapchick is the director of UCF's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

A new report shows that Major League Baseball has work to do when it comes to hiring a mix of races and genders.

The 2017 Major League Baseball Racial and Gender Report Card, authored by Richard Lapchick, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, gave MLB a B grade for racial hiring practices and a C grade for gender hiring practices for an overall grade of C+.

MLB earned 82 points for racial hiring practices, which is down from 90.5 points it earned in last year’s report. It earned 70 points for gender hiring practices, which also is down from last year’s 74.3 points. In total, MLB earned 76 points, down from last year’s 82.4 points, which is partly due to a new grading scale that better represents America’s changing demographics, according to the report.

This year’s report was released on April 18 in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African American to play in the MLB. Annually, the report asks, “Are we playing fair when it comes to sports? Does everyone, regardless of race or gender, have a chance to play or to operate a team?”

“In the years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, his vision was to see diverse players on the field reflecting diverse coaches and those in the front office,” said Lapchick. “The 2017 Major League Baseball Racial and Gender Report Card shows there is still a long way to go to achieve those goals.”

For the full MLB report card and reports on other professional sports leagues, see http://www.tidesport.org/reports.html.

Plus, see stories from USA Today and ESPN for additional coverage on the 2017 MLB report card.