Which pro league is best at hiring minorities?

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Which pro league is best at hiring minorities?

From Comcast SportsNet Wednesday, August 10, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The WNBA remains a leader in hiring women and minorities to top positions. The WNBA joined the NBA in setting the benchmark for professional leagues when it received a combined "A" Wednesday for its diversity efforts. The grades were released in the annual report by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. The combined "A" the league received for race and gender makeup marked the eighth time since 2001 the WNBA has scored that highly. The Racial and Gender Report Card released by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport examines major sports league's diversity in management at league offices and at the team level, as well as for coaches and other support personnel. The NBA also received a combined "A" grade in June. In their most recent reports both Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer were given a combined grade of "B-plus" and the NFL received a "B". Richard Lapchick, the study's primary author, said that he is most impressed that the WNBA continues to have several female owners, which he believes is helping set the agenda for the league overall. "I think ownership has been the hardest area to crack in all the leagues," Lapchick said. "The more that happens, the better the sign of the progress for the league. As teams get sold...more women are interested than we thought in purchasing teams and that's reflected in grades this year." Though the league lost one female head coach over the past year, it added one African-American coach. The WNBA also made history in April with the appointment of Laurel J. Richie as president, becoming the first minority woman to hold that title with a professional sports league. In addition, the percentages of women and minorities holding professional level staff positions increased significantly in 2011. Women hold 76 percent of those positions in 2011, up 7 percent from 2010. The number for African-Americans in those jobs also increased from 24 to 29 percent. And, for the second consecutive year, the WNBA maintained a historic all-time high of having 28 percent of team senior administrators who were minorities. "I think the thing that other leagues are so far behind WNBA is in gender hiring side," Lapchick said. "I think the NBA is only one that's close and I think that as they look at the models the WNBA has set up they may be able learn something." Lapchick said he recently spoke with an NFL official who said the league is interested in setting up a career path for female managers in the NFL. While he applauds that development, he noted that "those are things that the WNBA has been doing since its inception."

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.