Richard Lapchick, a researcher at the University of Central Florida, publishes annual “report cards” on gender and racial diversity in several leagues, and they’ve become the go-to index of diversity in sports. This year’s release of the report card was timed to the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in the major leagues.
This year, MLB got a C+ overall in diversity across the sport, down from a B- last year. A more granular look at the numbers reveals that although the league office has made strides in improving diversity, individual teams have not followed suit:
Commissioner Rob Manfred’s League Office maintained the good grade achieved in 2016 for racial hiring practices as it received an A- for hiring people of color. However, it dropped to a C- for gender hiring practices. People of color comprise 28.1 percent of the Central Office professional staff. Women comprise 29.3 percent of the total Central Office professional employees. Fifteen executives (Vice President or higher) who work at the Commissioner’s Office, MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Network are persons of color. 20 female employees hold executive positions in central baseball.
The team levels remain far behind the League Office. Of the six grades for race at the team level, the only A grade was for coaches. The teams received a B+ for Senior Administration and Professional Administration. They received an F for the key position of manager with only three managers of color and a C for general manager with four people of color, both below their all-time highs. In terms of gender, senior team administration received a D+ while professional administration received a C-. “The team front offices need to have more open hiring practices so they