Clipper website
The homepage of the Clippers ‘ website on Tuesday, in response to racist remarks attributed to the team’s owner.

For a guy who seems concerned about associating with African-Americans, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling may have chosen the wrong industry to work in.

Sterling, who has a record of allegedly discriminatory behavior, was caught on tape asking his girlfriend (a woman of color) not to post photos of herself with black people — in this case Magic Johnson — and not to be seen at games with them.Anyone vaguely familiar with professional basketball is well aware that a solid majority of today’s NBA players are black. In fact, the NBA — which didn’t integrate until 1950 — now leads the sports industry in racial diversity, surpassing both the NFL and Major League Baseball.

Management positions off the court, though, tell a different story. Although the number of black head coaches has risen significantly, there is only one principal owner of color in whole league: Michael Jordan, who became majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010. In fact, Jordan is the only principal owner of color among all 92 teams in the NBA, NFL and MLB combined.

That’s according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, which collates and publishes annual data on diversity. The following interactive charts illustrate findings from the Institute’s most recent report, released last October, showing league data from the 2012-2013 season.

In NBA, A Stark Racial Divide Between Players and Management 30 April,2014Matthew Green


Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @MGreenKQED

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