Lack of diversity in tricentennial coverage raises red flag

Lack of diversity in tricentennial coverage raises red flag By Vincent T. Davis, Staff Writer February 18, 2018 Updated: February 18, 2018 7:32pm Photo: Kin Man Hui /San Antonio Express-News Image 1of/13 CaptionClose Image 1 of 13 Historian and landscape architect Everett L. Fly shows examples from historical records of African Americans who were land and ranch owners in the early years of San Antonio. Members of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum are concerned about the lack of diversity featured in the January 2018 edition of Texas Highways Tricentennial coverage where African Americans are only mentioned as slaves in the timeline of San Antonio. Fly and George Frederick, president of Hope House Ministries, are dismayed that the African-American community is seemingly under-represented in the city's celebration of its 300-year history. (Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News) less Historian and landscape architect Everett L. Fly shows examples from historical records of African Americans who were land and ranch owners in the early years of San Antonio. Members of the San Antonio African ... more Photo: Kin Man Hui /San Antonio Express-News Image 2 of 13 Historian and landscape architect Everett L. Fly (left) and George Frederick, president of Hope House Ministries, walk amongst burial plots at Samuel McCulloch Cemetery. McCulloch was a free black soldier who became the first casualty of the Texan revolution. Fly and Frederick are members of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum who are concerned about the lack of diversity featured in the January 2018 edition of Texas Highways Tricentennial coverage where African Americans are only mentioned as slaves in the timeline of San Antonio. Fly and Frederick pointed to McCulloch as an example of black Texans who played an Continue Reading

Winter Olympics features diversity in broadcast booth too

Anson Carter expects to surprise some casual sports fans who tune into the 2018 Winter Olympics for ice hockey. "You might not watch the whole game, but you might see what’s happening between periods, and then you see a black face on TV talking about the game, giving some insightful analysis on what’s going on," Carter said. The 2018 Winter Games, which officially begin Friday, will have the largest contingent of black athletes in its history, helping to debunk the stereotype that blacks don’t participate in so-called non-traditional winter sports. The games will also feature diversity on the air. NBC’s Mike Tirico makes his debut as the prime time face of the Winter Games, succeeding Bob Costas, who had hosted the networks’ Olympic prime time coverage since 1992. Carter, a Canadian who played 11 seasons in the National Hockey League, will analyze hockey games played in Pyeongchang from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Anson Carter, studio analyst for NHL on NBC NBC Sports Group Although he’s known to regular hockey viewers from his NHL and college hockey coverage on NBC Sports Network and "The MSG Hockey Show" in New York, Carter realizes that he might seem like an unconventional choice to those who only pay attention to the sport during the Olympics. "I want to make sure I’m bringing my ‘A’ game to the table because it is all about diversity," he said. "You can’t talk about being diverse on the ice but then off the ice you don’t have the diversity as well when you have people capable of doing the job just like anybody else." Carter said he’s aware that a perception that black people know or care little about hockey. That perception was recently reinforced by a “Saturday Night Live” skit in which Chance the Rapper played a New York Knicks basketball sideline reporter hopelessly trying to analyze a New York Rangers hockey Continue Reading

How We Increased Gender Diversity In Our Boardroom

The step-by-step playbook we used to find our newest board member. Max Yoder Published 11:30 am, Thursday, January 18, 2018 Photo: Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Images Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Photo: Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Images How We Increased Gender Diversity In Our Boardroom 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Last October, I looked around the table during a Lessonly board meeting and thought to myself, “How do the women on the team feel when they walk past this room and see a bunch of men making big decisions on their behalf?” Probably not great, right? After all, 45 percent of the team is women, but 100 percent of the board is not. My next thought was, “Not your best work, Max.” Study after study proves that diverse thought on a team drives better performance. McKinsey notes that gender-diverse teams are 15 percent more likely to outperform their peers. Ethnically-diverse teams? Thirty-five percent more likely.  Different perspectives on customers needs, product improvements and company well-being fuel a better business. Nowhere is this more true than on a board of directors. Related: Corporate Boards Should Be Demanding Management Answer These 5 Questions About Company Culture So we made a decision: Lessonly’s next board member needed to be a woman. Not just any woman, of course -- someone with charisma, a wealth of knowledge and just enough experience to be wise but not infallible. We decided to seek out someone with senior experience leading a complex product organization. This background was essential as we scaled from the first one million learners to the next 10 million. As with all board members, this woman would also would need to align with our cultural values and be able to share unique perspectives of her own. Local Channel Now Continue Reading

Unfortunately, new website The Athletic reflects old diversity problem in sports media

The lack of diversity in press boxes and newsrooms across the country was put on notice this week when a photo was posted revealing the college sports staff of a new website called The Athletic. For those unaware, The Athletic is trying a fresh business model in a handful of cities across the country. As of now, the site is focusing on college football, and the key sports in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto and the Bay Area. The plan is simple: hire top sportswriters and have people pay for the coverage they want, from the sports writers who cover the teams they care about. This past week, the site came under scrutiny when it released a photo of their college football team, which includes: Stewart Mandel, Nicole Auerbach, Matt Fortuna, Chantel Jennings, Jason Kersey, Max Olson, Dan Uthman, and Chris Vannini. But, why is everybody in this picture white? Because, unfortunately, that's the way our industry is set up. According to the most recent Racial and Gender Report Card that was done by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports on the Associated Press Sports Editors, these are the facts. 90.1 percent of sports editors are white. 90.2 percent of assistant sports editors are white. 87.6 percent of sports columnists are white. 87.4 percent of sports reporters are white. 80.8 percent of copy editor and designers are white. And if you still don't believe me, ask a sports journalist of color what they think about those numbers, and they'll quickly inform you that they aren't "alternative facts." This isn't "Fake News." Sports media does a terrible job in terms of diversity. The Athletic's CEO, Alex Mather, admitted on Monday that the site was "having issues creating a diverse team." He's also gone on to say that, "As CEO I take full responsibility for the makeup of the team. I think you are exactly right on how this happens — we are a startup moving extremely quickly and too Continue Reading

Cyd Zeigler Q&A: Author talks new book, NBA pulling All-Star Game out of Charlotte and LGBT issues in sports

Cyd Zeigler’s new book, "Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes are Claiming their Rightful Place in Sports," delves into the intersection between sports and LGBT issues. In an interview with The News, Zeigler discussed "Fair Play," and the social issues involved with being an LGBT athlete. Zeigler, along with LA Times freelance editor Jim Buzinski, also runs a popular SB Nation blog called Outsports, with a slogan that reads: “A voice for LGBT athletes.” With that, here is our Q&A with Zeigler. Why is this kind of intersectional sports journalism important? I didn’t think it was important necessarily until I got an email from Andrew McIntosh; he was a lacrosse player at Oneonta State University and he was talking about how he was thinking about killing himself and that he stumbled across a story that we had on Andrew Goldstein, who was a lacrosse player at Dartmouth. He got drafted by Major League Lacrosse and seeing that story and identifying with this other gay athlete helped save his life. What’s the difference between female LGBT athletes and male LGBT athletes? You say neither has it easy, but the support system for the athlete is different. Why? There are just more LGBT athletes and coaches in women’s sports than there are in men's sports. I have talked to Division I women’s basketball coaches; I have talked to professional women’s soccer players; I have talked to WNBA players, they all tell me the same exact thing: That anywhere from one-third, to three-quarters of the women in the elite level sports, Division I and the pros, are LGBT. I don’t think anybody would put the same percentage of men who are LGBT and play sports at that level. In the WNBA, there are numerous head coaches, assistant coaches and athletes who are out. In all of the big five men’s pro sports: one athlete, zero coaches. That’s a stark contrast in sports structure. Continue Reading

Rachel Robinson says MLB could do ‘a lot more’ to address diversity in baseball

Do more. Rachel Robinson said that baseball needs to do “a lot more” to fully honor the legacy of her husband, Jackie Robinson. “There is a lot more that needs to be done and that can be done in terms of the hiring, the promotion” of minorities in the sport, Rachel Robinson said Monday during a Q&A session with TV critics about “Jackie Robinson,” a two-part, Ken Burns-produced PBS documentary airing in April. DICK YOUNG IN 1972: BASEBALL HASN'T DONE ENOUGH FOR JACKIE ROBINSON While baseball has made efforts to be more inclusive, the numbers of black Americans playing baseball has fallen over time, and African-Americans made up just 7.8 percent of MLB rosters in 2015. Heading into the 2016 season there is just one black managers leading MLB teams — Dusty Baker in Washington. “We’re talking about very few (black) coaches, very few managers ... so there’s room for real progress, where people can come into the sport and feel they’re going to be respected and given opportunities,” Rachel Robinson said. Robinson’s comments, seemingly her most critical opinion on the lack of diversity in the sport, are in line with the thinking of Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, an outspoken voice on the issue. “A lot has been said verbally, going back to 2008 when I went to a meeting in New York where there were 35 African American baseball players that met with Frank Robinson and some other people from MLB, who asked ‘How do we promote African American kids playing baseball?’ Since we had that meeting, we have yet to meet again,” Granderson told the Daily News in August. “We’ve talked about it. I’ve heard different initiatives and every year, on Jackie Robinson Day, we all talk about the decline. “But we need to find ways to get baseball accessible to minority kids.” said Granderson. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON Continue Reading

Spike Lee rips Hollywood for lack of diversity, says sports industry is better at putting blacks in management positions

Spike Lee is slamming Hollywood’s lack of diversity — but when is he going to do the right thing for pilots, lawyers and CEOs? The Atlanta-born director called out the entertainment industry for lagging behind sports in putting African-Americans into powerful positions, saying, “It’s easier to be President of the United States as a black person than be head of a studio.” Lee is certainly right that Hollywood is struggling to become as diverse as America’s playing fields, but sports aren’t that level a playing field for blacks in management. APPLE APOLOGIZES AFTER EMPLOYEE'S ALLEGED RACIST REMARKS The most recent “Racial and Gender Report Card” from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports in 2013 shows a disparity between the demographics on the field or court, and those owning and managing the teams. Three-quarters of NBA players in 2013 were African-American, yet less than half (43.3%) of African-Americans were head coaches, and just 2% were majority owners on the teams. A whopping 98% of MLB owners and 97% of NFL owners were also white. “I think people have come to understand that diversity is a business imperative as well as a moral imperative,” Richard Lapchick, the director of the institute, told the Daily News. That forward progress, suggests Lapchick, isn’t a touchdown, but more of a field goal. While Major League Baseball once boasted 10 managers of color, there are now two; the NBA peaked at 14 minority head coaches, but has eight; the NFL has six minority coaches, down from a high of eight. “All the league offices are doing well in terms of race and gender diversity, but it's at the team level that there is still a lot of work to do,” says the chair of the DeVos Sports Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida. “The positive is that Continue Reading

MLB’s Breakthrough Series part of push for diversity in baseball

Sure, baseball boasts superstars in the majors and there are thousands of players toiling in the minor leagues, dreaming big. But Frank Robinson says there are even more potential players out there; some youth players just need to be seen by the right eyes. That, the Hall of Famer says, is why Major League Baseball’s Breakthrough Series is so important. The Series, which makes a stop at the Brooklyn Cyclones’ MCU Park starting Sunday, is part of MLB’s push for diversity in the game. College recruiters and pro scouts will evaluate invited players during the showcase for top high schoolers, many of whom are African-American. The Breakthrough Series, a joint effort by MLB and USA Baseball, expanded to four cities this year and will feature about 200 players; previous versions were in one place with about 60 to 80 players. “There is talent that hasn’t been given the opportunity,” said Robinson, MLB’s executive VP of baseball development. “I’ve always said the players you see out there, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the talent in this country. It’s overlooked and this is giving those kids a chance.” Maybe some of them can snag a scholarship or have the hope of a playing career. Some players never get seen because they can’t afford to attend the big-time high school showcases or play travel baseball; the Breakthrough Series is free to the players. Some of the 200 or so who were part of the series that also was held in Cincinnati, Compton, Calif., and Bradenton, Fla., might have never been on an airplane before. Only about 8% of the Opening Day rosters in the majors were made up of African-American players. MLB has an On-Field Diversity Task Force, headed by Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski, to study how to offer more opportunity. Former Met manager Jerry Manuel is the initiative’s day-to-day leader. More than 100 alumni of the Breakthrough Series have Continue Reading

Philomena Kwao on diversity in fashion: ‘There isn’t one kind of beauty’

Dressed to kill in a jumpsuit and hip-rolling to Teknomile’s Duros on the L train, plus-size model Philomena Kwao, 26, is the ultimate carefree black girl. And at a statuesque 5’10, with cheekbones crafted by the deities of West Africa and the meanest TWA this side of the Atlantic, the British Ghanaian beauty is also the perfect canvas — a canvas that is finally getting its golden debut in Sports Illustrated.As part of #SwimSexy — a new campaign launched by plus-size swimwear retailer Swimsuits For All — Kwao appeared in the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue alongside SI Swimsuit cover star Ashley Graham, 28, and model Nicola Griffin, 56. The striking ad marked a watershed moment for the magazine, which appears to finally be recognizing not just plus-size women but plus-size women across the axes of race and age.“It was perfect,” Kwao said of the shoot, highlighting the choice of the bold, gold bikini in particular. “You know, plus-sized women have been told for so long to cover up. Whether it’s with a one-piece, a tankini, a bikini with a skirt, high-waisted things, we’re always told to hide these things that society calls flaws... Swimsuits For All has taken the bikini — which for so many years has been the reserve of tall, slim, white young women — and they’ve made it accessible.”"And if I, as a woman of size, of color, of any age, want to feel empowered in wearing a bikini, I can," she continued. "I also just celebrate the fact that it’s even in Sports Illustrated ... they’re showing various women all around the world that actually no, there isn’t one kind of beauty. There isn’t one form or mold you have to fit into.”Kwao confesses it’s a lesson she learned the hard way.Though Kwao has modeled for roughly four years now and credits her Continue Reading

Dominican Republic Sports and Education Academy aims for reform

Baseball talent is the Dominican Republic's most visible export to the United States, but only a fraction of the players who start on the road from the baseball academies of Boca Chica to big league ballparks actually complete the journey. Most of the boys who flock to the academies dreaming of major league riches are wasting their time: Not only will they never play even an inning of Major League Baseball, they also squander years that could have been dedicated to education or job training. "The Dominican Republic is littered with academies that are little more than baseball factories," says Harold Mendez, a Philadelphia attorney. "There is no connection between education and sports." Mendez and his partner, sports activist Charles S. Farrell, hope to give young Dominican ballplayers more options than a slim shot at baseball glory or dead-end poverty. They are the founders of the Dominican Republic Sports and Education Academy, a college prep school scheduled to accept its inaugural 100-student freshman class in September, 2009. The DRSEA will give its students an opportunity to hone their baseball skills and pursue professional baseball careers, Farrell and Mendez say. But it will also prepare them to attend college in the United States or elsewhere so they have something to fall back on when they reach the limits of their baseball talents. "It would be special to create the next Manny Ramirez, that would be something" says Mendez. "It would also be special to create the next Dr. Ramirez." Besides, says Farrell, the former director of Rainbow Sports (a division of Jesse Jackson's RainbowPUSH Coalition that promotes diversity in sport), college is the best route to pro ball for even the Dominican players who have monster baseball skills, says Farrell. "Only 5% of college baseball players are Latino, but 55% of the kids picked in the first four rounds of the (2007) draft went to four-year colleges," says Farrell, citing NCAA and MLB figures. "We Continue Reading