National Basketball Association (NBA) Diversity and Inclusion Analysis Key stakeholders –who is (or should be) responsible for the implementation of diversity initiatives at the organization, and from whom is it critical to get buy-in for those initiatives? Identify roles and responsibilities for those involved (this should include a range of people including organizational leadership, HR, managers, and employees) Discussion questions (each question should have its own dedicated slide(s), for a total of at least three slides for this section). 1. What is the NBA doing differently than other professional sports organizations in terms of promoting diversity and inclusion? 2. What can other professional sports associations learn from the NBA? 3. What can the NBA do to further improve its diversity on all organizational levels? Provide specific examples. PowerPoint Presentation (5-6 slides) reference slide included. Bulk of information can be drawn from NBA TIDES report 2020. APA formatting required.The 2020
Racial and Gender Report Card
National Football League
By Richard E. Lapchick
Editor-in-Chief: David Zimmerman
Contributing Editors: David Eichenberger, Spencer Ewing, A.J. Forbes, Alayshia Green, Brady JohnsonSchmeltzer, Amanda Kiernan, Taylor Middleton, Devon Miller and Kyle Richardson
Presented by:
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport
with the DeVos Sport Business Management Program
in the College of Business Administration of the
University of Central Florida
Table of Contents
Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………………..1
Report Highlights………………………………………………………………………………..5
Overall Grades…………………………………………………………………………………….7
Grades By Category…………………………………………………………………………….8
NFL Players………………………………………………………………………………………….8
NFL Coaches…………………………………………………………………………………………8
Head Coaches………………………………………………………………………………………8
Assistant Coaches………………………………………………………………………………10
NFL League Office……………………………………………………………………………….11
NFL Team Front Offices……………………………………………………………………….13
Owners………………………………………………………………………………………………13
Chief Executive Officers/Presidents………………………………………………………13
General Managers/Principal-In-Charge…………………………………………………14
C-Suite Executives……………………………………………………………………………..14
Team Vice Presidents………………………………………………………………………….15
Senior Administration…………………………………………………………………………16
Professional Administration…………………………………………………………………17
NFL Game Officials……………………………………………………………………………..18
NFL Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives………………………………………………..18
How Grades Were Calculated…………………………………………………………….19
Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………..20
About the Report Card………………………………………………………………………20
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport……………………………………21
DeVos Sport Business Management Program……………………………………..21
Appendix I – Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives………………………………….22
Appendix II – Data Tables………………………………………………………………….27
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2020 NFL RGRC
THE 2020 RACIAL AND GENDER REPORT CARD:
NATIONAL FOOTBALL
LEAGUE
Media Contacts:
A.J. Forbes, (563) 581-7343, anthony.forbes@ucf.edu
Kyle Richardson, (540) 656-6918, kyle.richardson@ucf.edu
Executive Summary
Orlando, FL – December 9, 2020
Overall Grade
B-
The National Football League (NFL) received a B+ for
racial hiring practices and a C for gender hiring practices
in the 2020 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card released
by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES)
at the University of Central Florida (UCF). This gave the
NFL a combined B- grade.
The NFL’s score for race improved significantly to 85.5
percent, 3.2 percentage points higher than last year’s
score of 82.3 percent. The score for gender was 73.0
percent, a three-percentage point decrease from the score
in 2019. The overall grade for the NFL decreased from
79.3 percent in 2019 to 79.2 percent in 2020.
It is important to note that beginning with the 2020
Racial and Gender Report Card series, a racial and
gender hiring grade for Team CEO/Presidents and
Team Vice Presidents is being calculated into the final
grades. Based on previous Report Cards, this will result
in slightly reduced overall grades for race and gender
across all 2020 Report Cards. The 85.5 points for racial
hiring practices represented an increase from 82.3 in
the 2019 NFL RGRC. There would have been an even
greater increase in 2020 if not for the change described
above. The 73.0 points for gender hiring practices was
a decrease from 76.0 in 2019 and part of the difference
is attributable to the change described above. The same
was true for the overall grade of 79.2 points, down from
79.3 in the 2019 NFL RGRC.
Racial Hiring
B+
Gender Hiring
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C
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
Using data from the 2020 season, provided by the NFL
League Office, the Institute conducted an analysis of
the racial breakdown of head coaches, assistant coaches
and general managers, as well as a racial and gender
breakdown of C-Suite, senior management, senior
administration, and professional administration within
the NFL League office and at the club level.
Richard Lapchick, Director of TIDES and the primary
author of the study, said, “I commend the NFL’s
achievement of an A+ for racial hiring practices in the
NFL League Office. However, I am disappointed at the
continued disparity in racial and gender hiring practices
between the NFL’s League Office and their 32 teams.
This serious underrepresentation of women and people
of color at the team level can be seen in positions with
significant decision-making power such as General
Manager, Team CEO/President, and in the C-Suites.”
Lapchick continued, “At the NFL’s League Office, 14.5
percent of the vice presidents and above are people of color,
an increase from last year. At the team level, only 13.7
percent of the vice presidents are people of color. While
this was an increase from the 12.8 percent representation
last year, there is still room for improvement. The NFL
has seen an improvement at the NFL League Office level
regarding recruitment of women throughout the entire
office. There has been a steady growth each year since
2014, reaching a high of 38.2 percent in 2020. At the
NFL League Office, 31.5 percent of the vice president
and above positions are represented by a woman while
only 21.1 percent of the vice president positions at the
team level are filled by a woman.”
The percentage of people of color at the NFL League
Office in a management role increased from 28.0 percent
in 2019 to 30.5 percent in 2020. The NFL’s 30.5 percent
marked their record-high, beating their previous record
of 28.4 percent set in 2017.
Lapchick continued, “Results were generally not good
when the focus went to the teams. For the second
consecutive year, the NFL began the regular season with
only four coaches of color. This revealed an alarming
disparity when comparing 2020 to the record of eight
coaches who began the regular season only two years
ago in 2018. By week six of the 2020 season, two white
head coaches were fired and replaced with Black or
NFL RGRC at a Glance
Grade for Race of
NFL Players
A+
69.4%
People of Color
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL Head Coaches
D+
12.5%
People of Color
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL Assistant Coaches
A+
35.6%
People of Color
Racial Hiring Grade for
GMs/Principal-in-Charge
F
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6.5%
People of Color
Page | 3
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
African-American interim head coaches.”
While there were increased racial scores in six team
level categories, the NFL saw a decrease in team senior
administration after a score of 18.0 percent marked a
1.4 percentage point decrease from their 19.4 percent
in 2019. Similarly, both team senior administration and
team professional administration levels experienced
decreases in gender scores with scores of 23.9 and 32.3
percent, respectively.
Lapchick added, “There should be serious concern in
the consistent lack of representation of people of color
within general manager and team CEO/President roles
on NFL teams as representation at positions of influence
is vital for improving racial and gender hiring practices
within the League.”
In an attempt to improve diversity and inclusion efforts,
the NFL made enhancements to the Rooney Rule. Clubs
will now be required to interview at least two external
candidates of color for head coach vacancies; at least
one candidate of color for any of the three coordinator
vacancies; and at least one external candidate of color
for a senior football operations or general manager
position. Additionally, the Rooney Rule will apply to
a wide range of executive positions for the first time
as clubs must now include people of color and/or
female applicants in the interview processes for senior
level front office positions such as club president and
senior executives in communications, finance, human
resources, legal, football operations, sales, marketing,
sponsorship, information technology, and security
positions. In November 2020, the NFL membership
passed a proposal that provides 3rd round compensatory
draft pick rewards to teams that develop people of color
and women candidates for primary football executive or
general manager positions or a head coach position. If
those people of color and/or women candidates move to
the position of primary football executive or head coach,
teams would be compensated with future 3rd round
compensatory draft picks.
It is also worth noting that the NFL updated its media
policy in 2020, leading to more visibility and increased
opportunities for advancement for assistant coaches of
color. The new policy states that, through their public
relations department, clubs must provide regular and
NFL RGRC at a Glance
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL League Office
A+
30.5%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
NFL League Office
B
38.2%
Women
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL CEOs/Presidents
D+
12.1%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
NFL CEOs/Presidents
F
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6.1%
Women
Page | 4
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
reasonable access to assistant coaches – coordinators/
assistant head coaches and all primary position coaches
– for media interviews that serve the best interests of the
club and league.
The NFL League Office announced two major hires
since last year’s Report Card. Dasha Smith was hired
as Chief People Officer and recently promoted to Chief
Administration Officer, and Jonathan Beane was hired as
Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion
Officer. These new hires highlight the increased emphasis
on continuing the League’s progress when it comes to
improving diversity and inclusion in its workplace and
in all aspects of its business.
The Report Card asks, “Are we playing fair when it
comes to sports? Does everyone, regardless of race or
gender, have a chance to score a touchdown or operate
the business of professional football?” The answer is
“yes” to some degree for racial hiring practices and “not
yet” for gender hiring practices.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES),
located at the University of Central Florida (UCF),
publishes the Racial and Gender Report Card annually to
indicate areas of improvement, stagnation, and regression
in the racial and gender composition of professional
and college sports personnel and to contribute to the
improvement of integration in front office and college
athletic department positions. The publication of the
2020 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card follows the
publication of the reports on the National Basketball
Association, Major League Baseball, and Major League
Soccer.
NFL RGRC at a Glance
Racial Hiring Grade for
Senior Administration
B
18.0%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
Senior Administration
F
23.9%
Women
Racial Hiring Grade for
Professional Administration
B+
24.1%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
Professional Administration
C+
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32.3%
Women
Page | 5
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
Report Card Highlights



The NFL League Office announced two major hires
since last year’s Report Card. Dasha Smith was
hired as Chief People Officer and recently promoted
to Chief Administration Officer, and Jonathan
Beane was hired as Senior Vice President and Chief
Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
The Rooney Rule was expanded in May 2020,
requiring clubs to interview at least two external
candidates of color for head coach vacancies; at
least one candidate of color for any of the three
coordinator vacancies; and at least one external
candidate of color for a senior football operations or
general manager position. Additionally, the Rooney
Rule expanded to a wide range of executive positions.
This required clubs to include people of color and/
or female applicants in the interview processes
for senior level front office positions such as club
president and senior executives in communications,
finance, human resources, legal, football operations,
sales,
marketing,
sponsorship,
information
technology, and security positions. The league office
also adhered to these requirements. In November
2020, the NFL membership passed a proposal that
provides 3rd round compensatory draft pick rewards
to teams that develop people of color and women
candidates for primary football executive or general
manager positions or a head coach position. If those
people of color and/or women candidates move to
the position of primary football executive or head
coach, teams would be compensated with future 3rd
round compensatory draft picks.
There were four people of color who held head
coaching positions to start the 2020 NFL season.
By week six, two white head coaches were fired and
replaced with Black or African-American interim
head coaches. The Atlanta Falcons named Raheem
Morris interim head coach after firing Dan Quinn.
Likewise, when Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans
was fired, Romeo Crennel was named the interim
head coach. The total of six head coaches of color in
2020 is still behind the highest recorded number of
eight in 2011, 2017 and 2018.
Gender Hiring for
NFL League Office VP’s
29.6%
2019
31.5%
2020
Gender Hiring for
NFL League Office
36.8%
2019
38.2%
2020
Racial Hiring for
GMs/Principal-in-Charge
6.3%
2019
6.5%
2020
Racial Hiring for
NFL Head Coaches
12.5%
2019
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12.5%
2020
Page | 6


2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
A historic moment occurred during week three of the
2020 season when, for the first time in NFL history,
there were two female assistant coaches, Jennifer
King and Callie Brownson, on the sidelines and a
female official, Sarah Thomas, on the field. This
year, Jennifer King was hired as the first full season
Black or African-American female assistant coach in
the history of the NFL.
The overall percentage of women in the NFL League
Office was at an all-time high of 38.2 percent in
2020, marking an increase of 1.4 percentage points
from 2019’s 36.8 percent. This is a significant
improvement from 29.6 percent of women holding
these positions just six years prior in 2014. This
category has been trending upward at a rate of 1.2
percentage points per year since 2014.

At the beginning of the 2020 season there were
two women in a Team CEO/President position. The
number of women in Team CEO/President positions
has increased from zero in 2017 to one in 2018 and
2019 to two in 2020.

The percentage of women team vice presidents
increased by 0.4 percentage points from 20.7 percent
in 2019 to 21.1 percent in 2020. This is the second year
of improvement in this category after a steady decline
since 2015, when it was at a high point of 22.9 percent.
However, women are still seriously underrepresented
as vice presidents.

The NFL experienced a significant increase in the
percentage of people of color in team professional
administration positions, improving from 20.7 percent
in 2019 to 24.1 percent in 2020. However, there was a
decrease in the percentage of people of color in team
senior administrative positions, declining from 19.4
percent in 2019 to 18.0 percent in 2020. This is the
only category that had a decrease in its racial score
from 2019 to 2020.

In the NFL League Office, the percentage of people
of color in vice president roles or above increased
from 12.8 percent in 2019 to 14.5 percent in 2020.
Women in these positions increased from 29.6
percent in 2019 to 31.5 percent in 2020.

The NFL has two people of color who have
significant ownership interests and are involved in the
operations of an NFL club. Shad Khan, a Pakistaniborn American businessman and the principal owner
of the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined NFL ownership
in 2012. Kim Pegula, an Asian American woman
holds a major interest in the Buffalo Bills. She joined
NFL ownership in 2014.

Women held 23.9 percent of team senior administration
positions, a huge 0.5 percentage point decrease from
24.4 percent in 2019. Additionally, women held 32.3
percent of team professional administration positions,
a 3.6 percent decrease from 35.9 percent in 2019.
Women are still seriously underrepresented in team
senior administration positions and team professional
administration positions.

Just prior to the beginning of the 2020 season, the
Washington Football Club announced Jason Wright
as Team President. Wright became the first Black or
African-American team President in NFL history.
Ron Rivera, a Latino, was Washington’s head coach.
The team also hired Julie Donaldson as SVP, Media
& Content. She will be the first woman to be a regular
on-air member of an NFL radio broadcast booth.

NFL Football Operations hosted its fourth annual
Women’s Careers in Football Forum in 2020. Among
the participants, 15 were hired by clubs for the 2020
NFL season. This included Jennifer King, who was
hired as the first full-season Black or African American
female coach in the history of the NFL. Additionally,
118 women have been hired through the program since
its inception in 2017.

At the start of the 2020 season, Andrew Berry of
the Cleveland Browns and Chris Grier of the Miami
Dolphins were the only two people of color who
were in general manager positions. This is the lowest
number since 2018.
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
Overall Grades
The National Football League received a B+ for racial
hiring practices, the second consecutive year of receiving
a grade below an A- or higher, and a C for gender hiring
practices in the 2020 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card.
This gave the NFL a combined B- grade.
The grades for C-Suite executives were not used in the
calculation of the final grade, but the NFL received a C- for
racial hiring practices and a D+ for gender hiring practices
in this category.
The NFL received an A+ for Diversity Initiatives.
The NFL’s score for race is 85.5 percent, which is above
the 82.3 percent score in 2019. The score for gender is
73.0 percent, a decrease from 2019’s score. The overall
grade for the NFL decreased from 79.3 percent in 2019 to
79.2 percent in 2020.
It is important to note that beginning with the 2020 Racial
and Gender Report Card series, a racial and gender hiring
grade for Team CEO/Presidents and Team Vice Presidents
is being calculated into the final grades. Based on previous
Report Cards, this will result in slightly reduced overall
grades for race and gender across all 2020 Report Cards.
The 85.5 points for racial hiring practices represented an
increase from 82.3 in the 2019 NFL RGRC. There would
have been an even greater increase in 2020 if not for the
change described above. The 73.0 points for gender hiring
practices was a decrease from 76.0 in 2019 and part of the
difference is attributable to the change described above.
The same was true for the overall grade of 79.2 points,
down from 79.3 in the 2019 NFL RGRC.
These positions, especially the CEO/President position,
have been predominantly held by white men. TIDES
believes that by grading these positions it will make the
teams be more accountable in finding ways to increase
diversity within these key positions that are ultimately
responsible for developing and executing the overall
strategy and operations of the teams within each league.
For race, the NFL received an A+ for players, assistant
coaches, and League Office, a B+ for team professional
administrators, a B for team senior administrators, a C- for
team vice presidents, a D+ for head coaches, and for CEO/
Presidents and an F for team general managers.
Racial Hiring:
82.3
2019
85.5
2020
Gender Hiring:
76.0
2019
73.0
2020
Overall Score:
79.3
2019
For gender hiring practices, the NFL received a B for
League Office, C+ for team professional administrators
and an F for team senior administrators, team vice
presidents and CEO/Presidents.
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79.2
2020
Page | 8
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
NFL Coaches
Grades by Category
Head Coaches
NFL Players
At the start of the NFL’s 2020 season, the total percentage
of white players and players of color decreased. This is a
direct result of a corresponding increase in the percentage of
players that chose not to specify their race. The percentage
of Black or African-American players decreased from a
record high of 69.7 percent set in the 2016 season to 57.5
percent in 2020. The percentage of white players decreased
from 26.8 percent in 2019 to 24.9 percent in 2020. In
2020, 9.4 percent of players identified as two or more
races, increasing from 9.1 percent in 2019. Players that
chose not to specify their race increased from 3.1 percent
in 2019 to 5.7 percent in 2020. These classifications were
not included in the report prior to 2018.
Hispanics or Latinos, Asians, Native Hawaiians or
Pacific Islanders, and American Indian or Alaska Native
represented 0.4 percent, 0.1 percent, 1.6 percent, and 0.2
percent, respectively.
The total players of color have fallen 3.2 percentage points
from 72.6 percent in 2016 to 69.4 percent in 2020.
Grade for Race of
NFL Players
A+
See Table 1.
69.4%
Players of Color
There were four people of color that held head coaching
positions to start the 2020 NFL season. The four head
coaches of color were:




Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers
Ron Rivera, Washington Football Team
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Black or African-Americans in head coaching positions
dropped from 21.9 percent in 2018 to 9.4 percent in 2019
and remained 9.4 percent in 2020. Total head coaches
of color have dropped from 25 percent in 2018 to 12.5
percent in 2020. Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins is
the third head coach that owner Stephen Ross has hired in
10 seasons and is the franchise’s first head coach of color.
Anthony Lynn, in his fourth season with the Los Angeles
Chargers, is the 16th head coach in their franchise’s history
and the first person of color to hold that position. Ron
Rivera, the head coach of the Washington Football Team,
is Hispanic or Latino.
It should also be noted that by week six of the 2020 NFL
season, two white head coaches were fired and replaced
with Black or African-American interim head coaches.
The Atlanta Falcons named Raheem Morris interim head
coach after firing Dan Quinn. When Bill O’Brien of the
Houston Texans was fired, Romeo Crennel was named the
interim head coach. The total of six head coaches of color
in 2020 is still behind the highest recorded number of eight
in 2011, 2017 and 2018.
The efforts of the Commissioner, the Workplace Diversity
Committee, as well as the diversity groups working with
the NFL over the last several years, has kept a focus on
the head coaching landscape. Former coaches, scouts and
front office personnel formed the Fritz Pollard Alliance in
2003 to advise and consult the League and create more
momentum for change. Progress seemed to not only
stagnate but reversed after an all-time high of eight head
coaches of color led teams in 2011. Getting back up to
eight in 2017 and 2018 was a significant achievement.
Despite the efforts of the Commissioner, several diverse
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
pipeline programs like the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching
Fellowship and the Coaching Fellowship program, and the
Fritz Pollard Alliance, the number of head coaches of color
declined dramatically to four in 2019 and remained the
same at the beginning of the 2020 season.
The Rooney Rule, which requires that people of color be
interviewed as part of the search process for head coaches,
helped triple the number of Black or African-American
head coaches in the NFL from two in 2001 to six in 2005.
There were seven Black or African-American head coaches
in 2006 and at least three Black or African-American
head coaches each year since 2007. The Rooney Rule was
named after the late Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who also
headed the League’s diversity committee. The NFL’s policy
is similar to the approach adopted earlier by Major League
Baseball in 1999 under Bud Selig, which helped triple the
number of managers of color in MLB in the first few years
after implementation.
In May 2020, the NFL announced an expansion of Rooney
Rule requirements. Among the enhancements on and offthe-field, clubs will now be required to interview at least two
external candidates of color for head coach vacancies. This
addition follows changes that also strengthened the Rooney
Rule back in 2018, which required teams to go outside of
their own organizations to interview a candidate of color,
or to interview a candidate who is on the League’s career
development advisory panel list. In November 2020, the
NFL membership passed a proposal that provides 3rd round
compensatory draft pick rewards to teams that develop
people of color and women candidates for primary football
executive or general manager positions or a head coach
position. If those people of color and/or women candidates
move to the position of primary football executive or head
coach, teams would be compensated with future 3rd round
compensatory draft picks.
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL Head Coaches
D+
See Tables 2 and 3.
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12.5%
People of Color
Page | 10
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
Assistant Coaches
The percentage of assistant coaches of color increased
from 33.6 percent in 2019 to 35.6 percent in 2020. Black
or African-Americans held 30.5 percent of the assistant
coaching positions, an increase from 29.6 percent 2019.
The percentage of white assistant coaches in 2020 was 63.7
percent compared to 62.3 percent in 2019.
NFL Football Operations hosted its fourth annual
Women’s Careers in Football Forum in 2020. Among the
participants, 15 were hired by clubs for the 2020 NFL
season. Additionally, 118 women have been hired through
the program since its inception in 2017, including Jennifer
King, who was hired by the Washington Football Team
as the first full-season Black or African American female
assistant coach in the history of the NFL.
A historic moment occurred during week three of the 2020
season when, for the first time in NFL history, there were
two female assistant coaches, Jennifer King and Callie
Brownson, on the sidelines and a female official, Sarah
Thomas, on the field. In week 12, Callie Brownson became
the first woman to serve as an interim positions coach
making her the highest-ranking female coach in NFL
history.
Amongst all men’s professional sports leagues that receive
a Report Card from TIDES, the NFL has the second most
women in an assistant coach role with eight, trailing
the NBA which has nine. This trend of female assistant
coaches started in 2015 when Jen Welter became the first
female member of an NFL coaching staff. She joined the
Arizona Cardinals through the Bill Walsh Fellowship
Program as an assistant coaching intern for training camp
and the preseason.
In 2016, the Buffalo Bills hired Kathryn Smith as Quality
Control Coach for Special Teams. She became the NFL’s
first female full-time coach when she was promoted from
administrative assistant to this position under Bills’ Head
Coach Rex Ryan.
In 2017, the San Francisco 49ers hired Katie Sowers who
became the first openly LGBTQ+ coach in NFL history.
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
In 2018, the Oakland Raiders hired Kelsey Martinez as
a full-time strength and conditioning assistant. Kelsey
Martinez and Katie Sowers were the only female assistant
coaches in 2018.
In 2019, there were two clubs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
and San Francisco 49ers, who had a woman in an
assistant coaching position on their full-time coaching
staff. In the same year, Katie Sowers became the first
female to coach in a Super Bowl (Super Bowl LIV).
The eight women in an assistant coach position at the
beginning of the 2020 season were:








Callie Brownson, Cleveland Browns
Emily Zaler, Denver Broncos
Chelsea Romero, Los Angeles Rams
Katie Sowers, San Francisco 49ers
Lo Locust, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Maral Javadifar, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cristi Bartlett, Tennessee Titans
Jennifer King, Washington Football Team
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL Assistant Coaches
A+
See Table 4.
35.6%
People of Color
NFL League Office
The NFL League Office’s leadership has continually laid
the groundwork for a diverse and inclusive organization
throughout all levels of the League. The NFL League
Office announced two major hires who will impact this
area since last year’s Report Card. Dasha Smith was
hired as Chief People Officer and recently promoted to
Chief Administration Officer, and Jonathan Beane was
hired as Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and
Inclusion Officer.
The percentage of women in the NFL League Office
reached an all-time high of 38.2 percent in 2020 compared
to last year’s previous all-time high of 36.8 percent. This
is an upward trending category that has improved at a
rate of 1.2 percentage points per year since 2014.
Overall, the percentage of people of color in management
positions within the NFL League Office increased from
28.0 percent in 2019 to 30.5 percent in 2020. It was
notable that 11.8 percent of full-time management staff
in the League Office were Black or African-American,
further improving upon last year’s all-time high of 10.2
percent. The percentage of white people holding these
positions in 2020 was 64.8 percent compared to 67.3
percent in 2019. In 2020, 4.7 percent of individuals in
management positions did not list their racial identity
which has not changed since 2019. Hispanic or Latinx
decreased slightly from 6.6 percent in 2019 to 6.2 percent
in 2020. Asians increased from 9.2 percent in 2019 to
10.3 percent in 2020. Native Americans, Alaska Native,
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders holding
management positions remained at less than one percent
in 2020. In 2020, personnel of two or more races held 1.9
percent of the management positions, a slight increase
from 2019.
Compared to 2019, the League has also improved
upon the percentage of women and people of color in
the League Office at or above the vice president level.
The percentage of people of color increased from 12.8
percent in 2019 to 14.5 percent in 2020. Similarly, the
percentage of women increased from 29.6 percent in
2019 to 31.5 percent in 2020.
The NFL League Office continues to maintain and
introduce diversity initiatives each year. A full list of
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
initiatives are outlined at the end of this report. They
include the women’s interactive network, partnerships
with leading diversity advocacy organizations such
as the Fritz Pollard Alliance and Black Engagement
Network, diversity training across the NFL League office,
establishment of diversity accountabilities for all senior
leaders, enhancement of diversity recruitment resources,
and the creation of talent management programs.
The League Office, led by the Commissioner, influenced
the NFL to modify the Rooney Rule in May 2020. It
now requires clubs to interview at least two external
candidates of color for head coach vacancies; at least
one candidate of color for any of the three coordinator
vacancies; and at least one external candidate of color for
a senior football operations or general manager position.
Additionally, the Rooney Rule expanded to a wide range
of executive positions. This required clubs to include
people of color and/or female applicants in the interview
processes for senior level front office positions such as
club president and senior executives in communications,
finance, human resources, legal, football operations,
sales, marketing, sponsorship, information technology,
and security positions. The league office also adhered
to these requirements. In November 2020, the NFL
membership passed a proposal that provides 3rd round
compensatory draft pick rewards to teams that develop
people of color and women candidates for primary football
executive or general manager positions or a head coach
position. If those people of color and/or women candidates
move to the position of Primary Football Executive or
Head Coach, teams would be compensated with future 3rd
round compensatory draft picks.
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL League Office
A+
30.5%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
NFL League Office
B
See Table 5.
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38.2%
Women
Page | 13
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
NFL Team Front Offices
Ownership
The NFL has two owners of color that have major
ownership interests and are significantly involved in the
operations of an NFL club. Shad Khan, a Pakistani-born
American businessman and the principal owner of the
Jacksonville Jaguars, joined NFL ownership in 2012.
Kim Pegula, an Asian-American woman and owner of
a significant interest in the Buffalo Bills, joined NFL
ownership in 2014.
At the start of the 2020 season, there were seven women
as principal owners in the NFL.
CEOs/Presidents
Jason Wright became the first Black or African-American
to serve in the position of team President when he was
hired by the Washington Football Team in August 2020.
At the beginning of the 2020 season there were four
people of color in a team CEO/President position. This
is an increase from 5.0 percent in 2019 to 12.1 percent
in 2020. This is the most people of color the League has
ever had in team CEO/President positions.
The four people of color who were a team CEO/President
at the start of the 2020 NFL season were:




Jason Wright, Washington Football Team
Hymie Elhai, New York Jets
Paraag Marathe, San Francisco 49ers
Kim Pegula, Buffalo Bills
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL CEOs/Presidents
D+
12.1%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
NFL CEOs/Presidents
F
6.1%
Women
See Table 6.
*It is important to note that beginning with the 2020
Racial and Gender Report Card series, a racial and
gender hiring grade for Team CEO/Presidents and
Team Vice Presidents is being calculated into the final
grades. Based on previous Report Cards, this will result
in slightly reduced overall grades for race and gender
across all 2020 Report Cards. The 85.5 points for racial
hiring practices represented an increase from 82.3 in
the 2019 NFL RGRC. There would have been an even
greater increase in 2020 if not for the change described
above. The 73.0 points for gender hiring practices was a
decrease from 76.0 in 2019 and part of the difference is
attributable to the change described above. The same was
true for the overall grade of 79.2 points, down from 79.3
in the 2019 NFL RGRC.
At the beginning of the 2020 season there were two
women in a CEO/President position. The number of
women in CEO/President positions has increased from
zero in 2017 to one in 2018 and 2019 to two in 2020. It
is the most women the NFL has had in a CEO/President
position since the 2003 NFL Racial and Gender Report
Card. One of the two women identifies as a person of
color.
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
General Managers/Principal-in-Charge
C-Suite Executives
Prior to changing positions in 2020, Doug Williams was
the Senior Vice President of Player Personnel of the
Washington Football Team. Andrew Berry was hired
prior to the beginning of the 2020 season as the general
manager of the Cleveland Browns, joining Chris Grier
from the Miami Dolphins as the only two people of color
in a general manager position at the start of the season.
This is the lowest number since 2018. This is the second
consecutive year that there were only two people of color
in a general manager position. There were no women in a
general manager position in the NFL in 2020.
This was the second year that TIDES has analyzed
C-Suite executives as a separate category. “C-Suite”
refers to executive-level managers, such as chief financial
officers, chief operating officers, and chief information
officers. These are the most influential personnel that are
ultimately responsible for developing and executing the
overall strategy and business operations of the club. Chief
Executive Officers are not included within this analysis
because they are accounted for in the CEOs/Presidents
category.
The people of color holding general manager or similar
positions starting the 2020 season were:
• Chris Grier, General Manager, Miami Dolphins
• Andrew Berry, General Manager, Cleveland
Browns
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL GMs/Principal-in-Charge
F
See Table 7.
6.5%
People of Color
The percentage of people of color in C-Suite positions was
13.9 percent; similar to the percentage of people of color
in team vice president positions. The percentage of white
people holding these positions in 2020 was 85.1 percent.
Women held 26.7 percent of all C-Suite positions which
is also a similar percentage to that of women in team
vice president positions. In 2020, 14.8 percent of women
C-Suite positions were people of color.
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL C-Suite Executives
C-
13.9%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
NFL C-Suite Executives
D+
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26.7%
Women
Page | 15
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
Team Vice Presidents
The percentage of people of color in vice president
positions reached its highest mark of 13.7 percent,
matching the percentage in 2015. Black or AfricanAmericans in vice president positions remained the same
from 2019 to 2020 at 7.1 percent. There was an increase
in the percentage of Hispanic or Latinx vice presidents
from 2.2 percent in 2019 to 2.7 percent in 2020. The
percentage of white people holding vice president
positions in 2020 was 86.3 percent compared to 86.7
percent in 2019.
greater increase in 2020 if not for the change described
above. The 73.0 points for gender hiring practices was a
decrease from 76.0 in 2019 and part of the difference is
attributable to the change described above. The same was
true for the overall grade of 79.2 points, down from 79.3
in the 2019 NFL RGRC.
The percentage of women in vice president positions
increased from 20.7 percent to 21.1 percent. This is the
highest percentage since it was 21.1 percent in 2016.
The highest percentage recorded in the NFL Racial and
Gender Report Card was 22.9 percent in 2015.
Only 2.7 percent of all team vice presidents were women
of color.
Racial Hiring Grade for
NFL Team Vice Presidents
C-
13.7%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
NFL Team Vice Presidents
F
21.1%
Women
See Table 8.
*It is important to note that beginning with the 2020
Racial and Gender Report Card series, a racial and
gender hiring grade for Team CEO/Presidents and
Team Vice Presidents is being calculated into the final
grades. Based on previous Report Cards, this will result
in slightly reduced overall grades for race and gender
across all 2020 Report Cards. The 85.5 points for racial
hiring practices represented an increase from 82.3 in
the 2019 NFL RGRC. There would have been an even
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
Senior Adminstration
The percentage of both people of color and women
decreased in this important category of team senior
administration. This category includes the following
positions but is not limited to: Directors, Assistant General
Managers, Senior Manager, Senior Account Executive,
Senior Director, Director of Player Development, and
Director of Partnership Operations, etc.
The percentage of people of color who held senior
administration positions at the team level decreased by
1.4 percentage points, going from 19.4 percent in 2019 to
18.0 percent in 2020. The percentage of Black or AfricanAmericans in this category slightly decreased compared
to 2019, going from 10.7 percent to 9.8 percent in 2020.
Hispanic or Latinx people in these roles decreased to
4.1 percent from 4.9 percent in 2019. Asians slightly
increased to 3.2 percent compared to 3.0 percent in 2019.
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or
Alaska Native, and persons that are two or more races
held exactly 1.0 percent of these positions combined.
Those who chose not to specify their race represented 0.8
percent of senior administrators. The percentage of white
people holding these positions in 2020 was 81.2 percent,
compared to 80.0 percent in 2019.
Racial Hiring Grade for
Senior Administration
B
18.0%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
Senior Administration
F
See Table 9.
Women held 23.9 percent of the senior administration
positions during the 2020 NFL season, a decrease of 0.5
percentage points from 2019.
Women of color held 5.0 percent of all senior
administration positions.
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23.9%
Women
Page | 17
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
Professional Administration
The category of Professional Administration includes,
but is not limited to, positions at the team level such
as: assistant directors, controllers, video coordinators,
equipment managers, coordinators, supervisors, and
managers.
The NFL experienced a significant increase in the
percentage of people of color in team professional
administrative positions. The total percentage of people
of color in these positions for 2020 was 24.1 percent
compared to 20.7 percent in 2019. The percentage of
white people holding these positions in 2020 was 75.4
percent compared to 76.7 percent in 2019.
Specifically, the percentage of Black or AfricanAmerican professional administrators increased from
8.8 percent in 2019 to 11.6 percent in 2020. Hispanic or
Latinx professional administrators increased from 6.6
percent in 2019 to 7.2 percent in 2020. Asians within
this same category decreased from 2.8 percent in 2019 to
2.7 percent in 2020. Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander,
American Indian or Alaska Native, and personnel that are
two or more races decreased from 4.7 percent in 2019 to
2.6 percent in 2020. Those who chose not to specify their
race represented 0.5 percent.
Racial Hiring Grade for
Professional Administration
B+
24.1%
People of Color
Gender Hiring Grade for
Professional Administration
C+
See Table 10.
Women in professional administration positions decreased
from 35.9 percent in 2019 to 32.3 percent in 2020.
Only 7.0 percent of the women in all professional
administration positions were women of color.
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32.3%
Women
Page | 18
2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
NFL Game Officials
NFL Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Even though there was a decline in 2020, the NFL
continues to have a diverse group of game officials as
the combined number of Black or African-American,
Hispanic or Latinx and Native American or Alaska Native
officials decreased from an all-time high record of 39 in
2019 to 34 in 2020.
At the NFL, diversity is a business imperative. Becoming
more diverse and fostering a more inclusive culture is
a strategic priority critical to the continued growth of
the game, strengthening NFL clubs, and continuing to
lead through innovation. Accordingly, diversity is one
of the League’s core values and is an integral element
in establishing the NFL’s strategic initiatives. The NFL
strives to be a model of diversity and inclusion and as such,
believes that each member of the NFL family must take
ownership of the diversity initiative in order to achieve full
organizational success. A summary of the various ways the
NFL currently seeks to promote diversity and inclusion is
located in Appendix I.
There were two female officials, an increase from one in
2019 and the highest number of female game officials in
NFL history.
In week three of the 2020 season, for the first time in NFL
history, a female official, Sarah Thomas, was on the same
field with two female assistant coaches, Jennifer King and
Callie Brownson.
Then during week 11, an all-Black or African-American
crew officiated a game for the first time in NFL history.
Members of the seven-man crew were Barry Anderson,
Jerome Boger, Anthony Jeffries, Carl Johnson, Julian
Mapp, Dale Shaw, and Greg Steed.
NFL Grade for Diversity Initiatives
A+
See Table 11.
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2020 NFL RGRC Continued…
How Grades Were
Calculated
As in previous reports, the 2020 Racial and Gender
Report Card data shows that professional sport’s front
offices hiring practices do not nearly reflect the number
of players of color competing in the game. However, to
give it perspective for sports fans, the Institute issues the
grades in relation to overall patterns in society. Federal
affirmative action policies state the workplace should
reflect the percentage of the people in the racial group in
the population. When we first published the Racial and
Gender Report Card in the late 1980s, approximately
24 percent of the population was comprised of people
of color. Thus, an A was achieved if 24 percent of the
positions were held by people of color, B if 12 percent of
the positions were held by people of color, C if it had 9
percent, a D if it was at least 6 percent and F for anything
below 6 percent.
The change in the nation’s demographics has been
dramatic with the most recent census making all people
of color and minorities closer to 35 percent. To be fair
in transition to the organizations and sports we examine
in the Racial and Gender Report Cards, we decided to
increase the standards in two steps. The following chart
shows the news scale we are using for race and gender. To
get an A for race, the category now needs to have 30
percent people of color and to get an A for gender, 45
percent is needed.
These positions, especially the CEO/President position,
have been predominantly held by white men. TIDES
believes that by grading these positions it will make the
teams be more accountable in finding ways to increase
diversity within these key positions that are ultimately
responsible for developing and executing the overall
strategy and operations of the teams within each league.
Race
A+
A
AB+
B
BC+
C
CD+
D
F
>30
28.6-30
24.6-28.5
19.6-24.5
17-19.5
16.0-16.9
15.0-15.9
14.0-14.9
13.0-13.9
12.0-12.9
11.0-11.9
45
44.1-45
41.6-44
39-41.5
37.6-38.9
34.6-37.5
32-34.5
30.6-31.9
27.6-30.5
25-27.5
24-24.9

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