Why Are Sports Dominated by Blacks?

One DiversityInc reader wonders why the NBA doesn't look like America. The White Guy has the answer.

Luke Visconti's Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


Question:

Why doesn't the NBA look like America?

Answer:

Channeling the creative energy of a group of people into narrow categories will tend to enhance their performance in those specific areas.

Given the rampant under-funding of public schools that serve black and brown students, our country funnels entire groups of people–who can only be distinguished by race–into narrow channels of productivity.

It demonstrates a waste of potential. Just as the worst NBA team could completely dominate the best basketball team of 1957 (which, due to overt discrimination, was either completely or practically all white), it is logical to assume that representative corporate top-management representation would completely trounce all white top-managed companies.

I think most white people will have to think about that for a little while, because it's still not acceptable in our society to think of black people as being intellectually equal.

Here's another interesting way to look at the same phenomenon: In our country, it's commonly held to be true that Asians are intelligent. A Chinese friend of mine pointed out that, if we emptied out Yale, Harvard and Princeton and sent those students to China, the Chinese people there would think Americans were pretty smart..

 

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In an age of increasing racial confrontations, a business must have zero tolerance for discrimination.

In the Trump era, there has been a proliferation of Islamophobic and racist incidents across the country. When discrimination occurs at a place of business, it's apparent if the company's leadership and workforce support diversity and inclusion. A Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café barista refused to serve a racist customer; meanwhile, a white manager at a Starbucks called the police on two Black men for no reason.

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Eric Reid (#35) kneels with his teammates. / REUTERS

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Executives from Nielsen, New York Life, TIAA and Toyota Motor North America talk about communicating their commitment to D&I management and backing it up with actions that get results.

At the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 event, more than 400 people were in attendance during the day to hear best practices on effectively managing diversity and inclusion.

Moderator: Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

Panelists:

  • Angela Talton, Chief Diversity Officer, Nielsen
  • Kathleen Navarro, VP & Chief Diversity Officer, New York Life
  • Steve Larson, Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion, TIAA
  • Adrienne Trimble, General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Toyota Motor North America

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We White People Need to Own This

Martin Luther King has been dead for 50 years and Donald Trump is our president. Who is responsible?

REUTERS

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

We will be deluged by Martin Luther King articles and columns today. Some will be excellent, like the one Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote. But most will be saccharine sweet and not say what needs to be said.

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