Major League Baseball had an A on the issue of racial hiring practices, a C/C+ for gender hiring practices, and an overall grade of B in the 2015 MLB Racial and Gender Report Card (MLB RGRC).
MLB reached a score of 90.4 for racial hiring practices, down from 91.2 in 2014. MLB’s grade for gender hiring practices dropped to 74.4 points from 77.5 in 2014. Finally, MLB again achieved a combined grade of a B with 82.4 points, down from the 2014 RGRC when it accumulated 84.4 points.
The Racial and Gender Report Card annually asks, “Are we playing fair when it comes to sports? Does everyone, regardless of race or gender, have a chance to play or to operate a team?”
Dr. Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the study and the director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES or the Institute) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) said, “This is the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and it remains vital that we focus on the dream he set forth for baseball. Jackie wanted to see a diverse mixture of people participating in the sport through all levels: on the field as coaches and players, as well as those in the front office.
As Rob Manfred took over as the new MLB Commissioner, the League Office maintained the good grades achieved under Bud Selig with an A+ for hiring people of color and B- for gender hiring practices. However, the percentages for both declined slightly for the fourth consecutive year. At the team level, which has historically been far behind the League Office, the grade for race for team professional administrator positions was the only grade that improved slightly, while senior administration and professional administrators in the gender category increased. The team front offices need to continue to make an effort to create a work force that mirrors America.”
Lapchick continued, “Although the total percentage of players of color has steadily risen over the years, there has been a concern in Major League Baseball about the relatively small and declining percentage of African-American players. The concern is shared by leaders in the African-American community and all groups supporting diversity and inclusion. The percentage of African-American baseball players in MLB increased by 0.1 of a percentage point, from the all time low of 8.2 percent recorded in 2014.”
However, the 41.2 percent of players who were people of color also make the playing fields look more like America, with its large Latino population. Latino players saw a slight increase from 28.4 percent in 2014 to 29.3 percent of all baseball players for the 2015 season.
There was a decrease in the percentage of people of color as managers, coaches, team senior administrators, and in the League Office while there was an increase in the percentage of people of color in the team professional administrator positions and in the general manager position. All changes were small except in the manager position, where there was a ten percentage point drop and the position of coaches, where there was a 4.2 percentage point drop. The percent of people of color as team vice presidents remained the same from the 2014 report.
There was an increase in the percentage of women as team professional administrators and team senior administrators while there was a decrease for women in the League Office and team vice presidents.
Lapchick added that, “Overall, the League Office has had a strong positive impact on the diversity record for Major League Baseball. MLB continued to have an outstanding record for diversity initiatives, which included the ninth annual Civil Rights Game, Jackie Robinson Day, Roberto Clemente Day and the 2014 MLB Diversity Business Summit, which was held in New York City. MLB’s efforts are led by Wendy Lewis, Sr. Vice President for Diversity and Strategic Alliances.”
All data was collected by the MLB Central Office and passed on to the research team at The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport in the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program. TIDES was able to do this because of the in-depth human resource record keeping now being done by MLB. Using data from the 2014 season, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport conducted an analysis of the racial breakdown of the MLB players, managers and coaches. In addition, this MLB Report Card includes a racial and gender breakdown of the owners, management in the MLB Central Office as well as the team level, top team management, team senior administration, team professional administration, physicians, and head trainers. An overview of player positions is also included. Listings of professional owners, general managers, and managers were updated as of March 30, 2015. The
MLB player demographics for the 2015 Opening Day rosters are also included.
Tables for the report are included in Appendix I. The MLB’s extensive diversity initiatives are listed in Appendix II.
It is imperative that sport teams play the best athletes they have available to win games. The Institute strives to emphasize the business value of diversity to sports organizations when they choose their team on the field and in the office. Diversity initiatives, like diversity and inclusion management training, can help change attitudes and increase the applicant pool for open positions. It is obviously the choice of the organization regarding which applicant is the best fit for their ball club, but the Institute wants to illustrate how important it is to have a diverse organization involving individuals who happen to be of a different race or gender because it can provide a different perspective, and possibly a competitive advantage for a win in the board room as well as on the field.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida publishes the Racial and Gender Report Card to indicate areas of improvement, stagnation and regression in the racial and gender composition of professional and collegiate sports personnel and to contribute to the improvement of integration in front office and college athletics department positions.
25-Man Major League rosters
• 2015 Opening Day, the number of players from the 25-Man Major League rosters who identified themselves as African-American or Black was approximately 8.3 percent, which was an increase from 8.2 percent in 2014. The first round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft featured the selections of five African-American players (five-of-34, 14.7 percent). African-American players accounted for 12 of the 73 selections that were made on the first day of the 2014 MLB draft.
• The percentage of Latino players increased from 28.4 percent in 2014 to 29.3 percent on 2015 opening day rosters.
• The percentage of Asian players decreased from two percent in 2014 to 1.2 percent in 2015.
• The percentage of white players decreased from 60.9 percent in 2014 to 58.8 percent in 2015.
• The debate on why African-Americans seem to be abandoning baseball continued to be a concern for MLB, which has several urban youth initiatives to address this including:
o Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI)
o MLB’s Urban Youth Academy
o Commissioner’s On-Field Diversity Task Force
• Commissioner Selig established the creation of an On-Field Diversity Task Force to address the talent pipeline that impacts the representation and development of diverse players and on-field personnel in Major League Baseball, particularly African-Americans. The wide-ranging group, which includes representatives from Club ownership, Club front offices, MLB's Central Office, Minor League Baseball, former players, the Major League Baseball Players Association, the MLB Scouting Bureau, and collegiate baseball, has been focusing on the myriad of issues influencing on-field diversity at all levels of baseball. Tony Reagins has been appointed SVP of Youth Programs and will continue and implement several of the Commissioner’s On-Field Task Force recommendations.
• The percentage of players who were born outside the 50 United States on the 2015 Opening Day 25-man rosters and inactive lists was 26.5 percent. These players come from 17 countries and territories. This was an increase of 0.4 of a percentage point from 2014.
• The all-time high for international players was 29.2 percent (242/829) on the 2005 Opening Day rosters.
*Note: The 230 players born outside the U.S. come from the pool of 868 players (750 active 25-man roster players and 118 disabled or restricted Major League players) on April 5th rosters and represent 17 countries and territories outside the U.S., the highest total ever. The highest previous total was 16 countries in 2008 and 2014.
MLB Central Office
• According to Major League Baseball, of the 538 front-office employees, 9.5 percent were African-American, 12.8 percent were Latino, 3.2 percent were Asian, and 2.2 percent were classified as American Indian and “Two or More Races.”
• Women made up 29.4 percent of the total workforce, a decrease of 0.6 of a percentage point, while people of color made up 27.7 percent, a decrease of 0.2 of a percentage point.
• At the senior executive level, 18.9 percent of the 53 employees were people of color in 2015, an increase of one percentage point compared to 17.9 percent of 56 employees in 2014. Women occupied 22.6 percent of the positions, which was an increase from 21.4 percent in 2014. At the director and managerial level, 31.5 percent of the 127 employees were people of color, which was a decrease from 32 percent in 2014. Women occupied 26.8 percent of the posts, which was an increase from 26.2 percent in 2014.
• Major League Baseball announced the appointment of Kathleen Torres as its first woman Executive Vice President in the MLB Central Office. Torres, who had served as Senior Vice President, was promoted to Executive Vice President, Finance. As EVP, Torres will work under the guidance of Chief Financial Officer Bob Starkey, who was named to his position in December. Torres joined MLB in 1996.
• On July 15, during MLB All-Star Week in the Twin Cities, Commissioner Selig announced that MLB appointed former Major League outfielder Billy Bean as the game’s first Ambassador for Inclusion. In this capacity, Bean will provide guidance and training related to efforts to support those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities throughout Major League Baseball. Previous relationships with PFLAG, GLADD, Athlete Ally and True Blue Inclusion and others will continue to serve as our strategic partners.
• Arturo Moreno, who owns the Los Angeles Angels, was the only Latino majority owner in professional sport. Several MLB franchises have minority ownership. Three examples of African-American minority owners of MLB franchises are Earvin “Magic” Johnson who’s a member of an ownership group that now owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, Paxton Baker, minority owner of the Washington Nationals and Sean Taylor, minority owner of the Houston Astros.
• Owners of MLB franchises who are female included individuals with the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs. Jessica, Joan and Jennifer Steinbrenner all serve as Vice Chairperson’s with the New York Yankees. The Washington Nationals have four female Principal Owners who include Annette Lerner, Judy Lerner, Debra Lerner Cohen and Marla Tanenbaum. Laura Ricketts is a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, and Linda Alvarado is a member of the Rockies ownership group.
• In 2015 there were four people of color serving as general managers in MLB including two Latinos, one African-American and one Asian-American. There were three at the start of the 2014 and three in the 2013 season. The largest number of GMs of color was five in 2009 and 2010.
• The 2015 Major League Baseball season began with two managers of color, a decrease from five in 2014. The number of managers of color had been decreasing since the 2009 season, which started with 10 people of color and equaled the all-time record set in 2002 .
• For the 2014 season, people of color held 37 percent of the coaching positions for all MLB teams. This number was 4.2 percentage points lower than the 41.2 percent recorded in 2013, which was an all-time high since it was first recorded in 1993.
• African-Americans held 9.8 percent, a decrease from 10 percent in 2013. Latinos held 25.7 percent, a decrease from 30 percent in 2013. Asian, American Indian and Alaskan Native collectively held 1.5 percent of the coaching positions, an increase from 1.2 percent in 2013.
Team Vice Presidents
• There were a total of 65 women holding vice president positions in the 2014 MLB season. There were 24 MLB franchises that had at least one woman serving in a vice president role. The San Francisco Giants led the league with eight women in vice president positions, the Boston Red Sox had six women in vice president roles followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins with four women in vice president roles. The Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres had three and the remaining of the franchises either had one or two women in vice president positions, except for the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Royals, the Oakland Athletics, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Chicago Cubs
• In the 2014 MLB season, the percent of people of color holding team vice president positions remained the same as the 14.4 percent in 2013. The percent of women in the same positions decreased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 17.3 percent in 2014, from 17.5 percent in 2013. The 54 people of color holding vice president positions in 2014 were comprised of 25 African-Americans, 19 Latinos, six Asians, two Native Hawaiians and two classified as “Two or More Races.”
Team Senior Administration
• For the 2014 season, team senior administrators of color held 19.5 percent of the positions, representing a decrease of 0.8 of a percentage point from 20.3 percent in 2013.
• Women held 27.2 percent of team senior administration positions in 2014, an increase of 0.7 of a percentage point from 26.5 percent in 2013.
Team Professional Administration
• In 2014, people of color held 22.5 percent of team professional positions, an increase of 0.3 of a percentage point from 22.2 percent in 2013. African-Americans held 7.7 percent, an increase of 0.7 of a percentage point from 7 percent in 2013. Latinos held 9.4 percent, a decrease of 0.9 of a percentage point from 10.3 percent in 2013. Asians held 4 percent, an increase of 0.3 of a percentage point from 3.7 percent in 2013. People categorized as American Indian, Native Hawaiian and “Two or More Races” held 1.4 percent, an increase of 0.2 of a percentage point from 1.2 percent in 2013.
• Women held 28 percent of Team Professional Administration positions in 2014, representing an increase of 0.9 of a percentage point from 27.1 percent in 2013.