Three Leagues, 92 Teams And One Black Principal Owner

By | April 29, 2014

The NBA is investigating racist remarks possibly made by Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. After the probe was announced, Deadspin obtained an extended recording of a conversation that has been attributed to Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano. In it, Stiviano asked, “Do you know that you have a whole team that’s black, that plays for you?” to which Sterling allegedly replied,

I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? … Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?

It’s common knowledge that the NBA – like the other two biggest U.S. sports leagues, the NFL and Major League Baseball — has many African-American and Latino players. But off the court and off the field, the racial demographics of the leagues are starkly different.

Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, has collated and published statistics on the demographics of most major sports leagues. In October, Lapchick published data on diversity in the NBA, the NFL and MLB in 2013. We’ve pulled the numbers to show how the diversity of the NBA’s ownership structure differs from that of the players — and from other professional sports leagues’ makeups. (FiveThirtyEight)

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