Football is an American sport because it is a game that very closely reflects the way our society works. Players are the workforce/employees. The coaches are middle managers. And the owners are politicians and legislators. And when you think about it that way, there’s clearly a lack of diversity in the NFL its signal. Last week in Phoenix was an example of that. The annual owner meeting took place, and like corporate America and sports media – the white man is the guest of honor.
The “seat at the same table” that everyone always talks about, is located in a room. And that room was in a building. And unless you’ve been in buildings where the NFL, or Professional Baseball Tournament, hold their annual meetings, you don’t understand how one-sided things are. But due to social media, photos of the happenings inside that building were posted on the Internet to give the world a chance to see how unnerved the people inside that building were.
Check out the captions and photos below and notice the lack of people of color.
And then there’s this one. A throng of reporters — mostly white middle-aged men — hovering over a white coach who works in a league that’s predominately Black, getting asked questions by people who are overwhelmingly male, who don’t look like the people that play or watch the game.
Looks more like a NASCAR event than a tournament with “End Racism” etched into their final precincts, doesn’t it? Wait, never mind. This tournament still features a team called “The Chiefs,” as if it were cool to turn a race of people into a mascot.
It’s not just the NFL
And it makes no difference if the media photos are from a WNBA, NBA, or college basketball event. The the vast majority of sports followers are white, because the whole industry has a problem. According to Sports media gender and race report card 2021 which the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES) compiled for the Associated Press Sports Editors, a large segment of the industry received an F for hiring by gender, a B+ for hiring used by race and a C for the overall score.
Check out some data from the latest study:
- 79.2% of sports editors are white.
- 77.1% of columnists are white.
- 80.1% of upper management is white.
- 83.3% of sports editors are men.
- 75.8% of assistant sports editors are men.
- 85.6% of reporters are men.
- 63.7% of senior managers are men.
Earlier in the week, veteran NFL reporter Jim Trotter announced that Friday would be his last day at NFL Media after Contract goes smoothly without renewal after publicly holding NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responsible at successive Super Bowl press conferences for his and the league’s continued lack of interest in addressing diversity in the league and corporate newsroom.
“And a year later, nothing has changed,” he added in February. “James Baldwin once said, ‘I can’t believe what you say because I see what you do.
In a week where Jim Trotter most likely lost his job because he kept asking a powerful white man why other powerful white men had such problems with recruitment and empowerment. For Black employees, white members of the sports media posted photos from the NFL owners’ meeting that showed how white the NFL and the sports media industry really are. It paints a picture so clear that even those who choose not to see color have no choice but to notice how white everything is.