Major League Soccer earned a cumulative B+ grade in the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport’s annual report on race and gender hirings performed by major sports leagues. It was the fourth consecutive year that the American soccer league received a grade of A in the category of racial hiring, but the league did suffer a grade of an F in the subject of minority general managers. The league has yet to have a single black GM in their brief history and currently all 11 are white, but on the bright side the league has increased the percentage of minorities in senior administrator roles from 18.9 in 2008 to 19.3 percent in 2010.
MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche admitted that the league still needs to improve in some areas, but the MLS official did seem pleased that the MLS has continued to increase minorities members in several different important areas of the league:
We acknowledge that it’s an area we need to improve. But overall we think our deep diversity is reflected in the league office and our teams.
Courtemanche has a valid point considering that overall minority hirings have increased over the last two years, but they have left little impact in two of the most crucial positions: head coach and general manager. This season their were only two minority managers, Chicago Fire’s Carlos De Los Cobos and Chivas USA’s Martin Vasquez, and Vasquez was recently fired meaning that only one minority coach currently remains in the league. But although their are so few managers hired that are from a minority race, several more minority assistant coaches have been hired since 2008 and the statistic has doubled from 9.5 percent to 19.6 percent in the two year span. The same can be said for players as well and the percentage of minority players has increased from 38 percent to 46 percent since 2008, which is the highest ratio ever in the league to date. The MLS also enjoyed having the highest percentage of international players this year in league history at 37 percent proving that the league is expanding to more global markets as well.
The MLS also was able to maintain its respectable B-minus grade for gender hiring practices. As I said before, the league’s cumulative B+ grade is among the best of any professional sport in America and the number appears to be growing each season.