Sports Media Gets a D+ on Race and Gender Diversity Report Card

AP Claudio Cruz
AP Photo/Claudio Cruz

The American sports media got a D+ on a diversity report card, which grades their hiring practices when it comes to race and gender.

The 2018 Associated Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card, gave the sports media a B, when it came to racial diversity. However, the report card issued them an F, when it came to gender diversity.

The overall grade of D+ was the lowest of all grades issued by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES). This finding stands in stark contrast to the public perception that the sports media is overwhelmingly tolerant and inclusive. When in fact, according to the report, they’re clearly struggling.

As to how ESPN scored on the report card:

Of the 70 people of color who are assistant sports editors, 51 work for ESPN. If the ESPN assistant sports editors of color were removed, the overall percentage of assistant sports editors of color would drop from 24 percent to 8 percent. Of the 89 women who were assistant sports editors, 75 worked for ESPN. If the ESPN assistant sports editors who are women were removed, the overall percentage of female assistant sports editors would drop from 30 percent to 6 percent.

ESPN also had a significant effect on the percentage of female columnists at the largest newspapers and websites. Of the 44 women who were columnists at this level, 38 worked for ESPN. Of the 44 women, four were African-American, one was Latina and two were Asian. All 11 women of color were employed by ESPN. If the ESPN columnists who are women were removed, the overall percentage of female columnists would drop from 19 percent to 3 percent.

While these numbers show an upward trend in race and gender hiring practices, the sports media is clearly in no position to lecture anyone when it comes to diversity.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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