Annual report gives NFL A grade on racial hiring, C-plus on gender

The NFL received its seventh consecutive A grade for racial hiring practices and maintained a C-plus for gender hires, according to the annual report released Wednesday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

The TIDES grades were the same as the league received in 2015, although the NFL's overall B grade of 83.6 percent was just slightly lower than the 84.1 percent it received last year.

According to the study, the NFL received a score of 91.1 percent for racial hiring practices -- a 2 point drop from last year's all-time high score of 93.1. For gender hiring practices, the NFL increased last year's score by 1 percentage point to 76 percent.

"The gender grade continues to be of special significance this year," Dr. Richard Lapchick, the author of the study, said in a statement. "Following the 2014 Ray Rice incident, the NFL has been under scrutiny for domestic abuse and mistreatment of women.

"While there still is a long way to go at the team level, the gender grade over the last two years with an increase of 6 percentage points and half a letter grade overall is noteworthy. The number of women in significant decision-making positions in the league office continued to expand."

There are 35 women who serve at or above the vice president level in the league office, up from 31 last year and 21 in 2014. However, when it came to diversity, the score dropped from 28 percent in 2015 to 26.9 percent.

"I am concerned that the percentages decreased for women and people of color on NFL teams at the vice-president level and in senior administrator positions," Lapchick said. "The number of general managers of color declined from seven to five. Teams need to follow the example set by the league office, as percentages for women at the team level remain significantly below those at the league level."

There was no change from 2015 with six people of color currently in NFL head coaching jobs; the high was eight coaches in 2011. However, when it came to hiring practices for assistant coaches, the percentage plummeted from 37.9 percent in 2015 to 31.9 percent this season.
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