Which pro league is best at hiring minorities?

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Which pro league is best at hiring minorities?

From Comcast SportsNet Wednesday, August 10, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The WNBA remains a leader in hiring women and minorities to top positions. The WNBA joined the NBA in setting the benchmark for professional leagues when it received a combined "A" Wednesday for its diversity efforts. The grades were released in the annual report by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. The combined "A" the league received for race and gender makeup marked the eighth time since 2001 the WNBA has scored that highly. The Racial and Gender Report Card released by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport examines major sports league's diversity in management at league offices and at the team level, as well as for coaches and other support personnel. The NBA also received a combined "A" grade in June. In their most recent reports both Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer were given a combined grade of "B-plus" and the NFL received a "B". Richard Lapchick, the study's primary author, said that he is most impressed that the WNBA continues to have several female owners, which he believes is helping set the agenda for the league overall. "I think ownership has been the hardest area to crack in all the leagues," Lapchick said. "The more that happens, the better the sign of the progress for the league. As teams get sold...more women are interested than we thought in purchasing teams and that's reflected in grades this year." Though the league lost one female head coach over the past year, it added one African-American coach. The WNBA also made history in April with the appointment of Laurel J. Richie as president, becoming the first minority woman to hold that title with a professional sports league. In addition, the percentages of women and minorities holding professional level staff positions increased significantly in 2011. Women hold 76 percent of those positions in 2011, up 7 percent from 2010. The number for African-Americans in those jobs also increased from 24 to 29 percent. And, for the second consecutive year, the WNBA maintained a historic all-time high of having 28 percent of team senior administrators who were minorities. "I think the thing that other leagues are so far behind WNBA is in gender hiring side," Lapchick said. "I think the NBA is only one that's close and I think that as they look at the models the WNBA has set up they may be able learn something." Lapchick said he recently spoke with an NFL official who said the league is interested in setting up a career path for female managers in the NFL. While he applauds that development, he noted that "those are things that the WNBA has been doing since its inception."

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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