The University of Central Florida praises the NBA for its "commitment to racial equality," despite this significant evidence of racial inequality:
|Share of U.S. Population, 2011||Share of NBA, 2012 || Share of WNBA, 2011 |
|Blacks||13.1%|| < ||78%||63%|
|Hispanics||16.7%|| > ||4%||3%|
Based on the data in the chart above, what letter grade would you assign for the "racial hiring practices
" of the NBA and WNBA? When determining your grade, you would obviously consider the fact that the racial shares of professional basketball players diverge significantly from the racial makeup of the U.S. population, suggesting that there might be some racial bias or discrimination when hiring players. For example, blacks were 13.1% of the U.S. population in 2011
, but were significantly overrepresented in professional basketball: 78% of NBA players (2012) and 63% of WNBA players (2011) are black. Whites are 63.4% of the U.S. population
, but are significantly
underrepresented in pro basketball: only 17% of NBA and 21% of WNBA players are white.
Likewise, Hispanics and Asians are significantly underrepresented in both the NBA and WNBA compared to their shares of the U.S. population, and Asians have no
representation in the WNBA.
determining your letter grade for the "racial hiring practices" of the NBA and WNBA consider what would
happen if some of the outcomes were reversed, e.g. blacks are 13.1% of
the population, but make up only say 5% of some outcome like managerial positions, boards of directors, city payrolls for
police or fire workers, teaching positions, coaching positions, etc. In most cases of
gender or racial under-representation, the goal of advocacy groups or
government agencies is often perfect statistical gender or racial
parity based on shares of the general population (see example here
of perfect gender parity being the stated goal of the Commerce Department for STEM jobs and college majors).
Given the statistical outcomes above where whites are underrepresented in the NBA by a factor of 3.7 times
compared to their share of the general population (17% vs. 63.4%) and blacks are overrepresented in the NBA by a factor of 6 times
vs. 13%) compared to their share of the general population, it would
seem that the logical conclusion is that the racial outcomes for
the NBA and WNBA depart dramatically from the standard measures of
diversity and the racial hiring practices of the NBA and WNBA should earn a letter grade of F
. When women or minorities are underrepresented in some
outcome (STEM jobs, college enrollment, boards of directors, executive positions, etc.), efforts are made to
"increase diversity" by increasing the gender or racial shares of
various outcomes to the gender or racial shares of the overall
seems pretty Orwellian in the sense that "all racial and gender groups
are equal and important for purposes of diversity, but some groups are apparently
more equal than others." For example, when women are underrepresented
in STEM fields, the gender activists invoke the
"disparity-proves-discrimination dogma" and mobilize resources and
support to address the gender disparity. But when women are
overrepresented in earning college degrees (140 females per 100 men), or
7 out of 11 graduate degrees, or outnumber male veterinarians by more
than 3:1, those disparities, and the "disparity-proves-discrimination"
dogma are ignored.
Likewise, now that whites,
Hispanics, and Asians are significantly underrepresented in the NBA and
WNBA, the "disparity-proves-discrimination" dogma is abandoned and a new
mantra is adopted by the "Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport":
"racial disparities-prove-success" as long as blacks are over-represented and whites, Asians and
Hispanics are under-represented, and deserve letter grades of A+. In fact, the 2012 report praised the "NBA’s continued commitment to racial equality," despite the overwhelming evidence of significant racial inequality?
Interestingly, the "Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sport" was headed until recently by two white male admininstrators (see photo below). What grade would they give their own organization
for the category of "Top Management" (one of the categories they use
for the NBA and WNBA)? Wouldn't this be a letter grade of F for being 100% white and male?