WNBA Leads in Sports Diversity Study

ORLANDO Florida

As many WNBA teams have women holding partial or full ownership as there are in the NFL and more than in any other American pro sport.

That’s what helped the WNBA receive the first A-plus given in the annual diversity report card on race and gender in American professional leagues from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

Women own three WNBA teams, up two from 2007 and one the previous year.

The number of minority head coaches and players increased, but there was a slight decrease in women and minority assistant coaches. Of the WNBA’s 14 teams, five had female head coaches, and five head coaches were black.

Richard Lapchick, director of the University of Central Florida institute, said the WNBA has long led the way in his studies and benefited from its relative youth. The league began play in 1997.

“They started at the same time the (NBA) began its diversity initiative, so the WNBA was able to include a good pool of candidates from the very beginning,” Lapchick said.

Carla Christofferson and Katherine Goodman own the Los Angeles Sparks, Colleen J. Maloof and Adrienne Maloof-Nassif own the Sacramento Monarchs, and the Seattle Storm’s owners are Anne Levinson, Ginny Gilder, Dawn Trudeau and Lisa Brummel.

Women own all or part of the St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL and the Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards of the NBA. Major League Baseball has no female majority ownership.

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