A Report Card on Racism and Diversity Representation in Sports

BLEAV Lapchick Abdul Jabbar Staley Dawkins
BLEAV Sports with Fred and The Fantastics
A Report Card on Racism and Diversity Representation in Sports

Richard Lapchick, known as “the conscience of the world of sports,” gives some insight into which organizations in sports are making the best efforts to break down minority and racial barriers. Many professional leagues have made inroads in promoting diversity, but the media, college sports, and women’s teams are lagging behind in hiring people of color and women for prominent positions. How can these disparities be improved? As athletes are becoming more vocal about activism and pressuring corporate sponsors to engage in community outreach and engagement, are fans more supportive of athlete activism than they used to be?

In his article for Substack, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took issue with the speech made by South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley after her team won the NCAA Championship. He felt that her stating a particular religious preference was not appropriate as a representative of a public institution. With concerns over the rise in the frequency of religious hate crimes, are more people sharing his point of view?

The transfer portal and NIL have completely turned college sports on its ear. Is there also a disproportionate number of women and minorities not represented in the NIL, Caitlin Clark notwithstanding? The viewership was up for the women’s basketball tournament, due in major part to the performance of Clark, which garnered a wider audience than the men’s. Does the merry-go-round of athletes through the portal create a disconnect with the fans, especially for those who have an affinity for a certain school?

Johnny Dawkins, former player of the year at Duke and current basketball coach at the University of Central Florida, echoed the sentiment of many coaches about not getting to know their players long enough to have the opportunity to mentor them because of the transfer portal and “one and done” college sports careers. Is changing schools just as disruptive to the academic lives of these student-athletes, and possibly even more so than to the sports side? Now that John Calipari has left the University of Kentucky basketball team, where he was head coach for 15 years, to fill the same position at the University of Arkansas, how many of his players will follow him through the transfer portal?


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