Which pro league is best at hiring minorities?


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."

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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