The Measure of Diversity That Only One U.S. Pro Sport Meets
Two diversity measurements help reveal which sports leagues are truly the most diverse in the United States.
By Chris Hoenig
There is only one professional sports league in the United States in which at least 50 percent of the players are not of a single race or ethnicity. And no, it's not one of the so-called "Big Four."
It's Major League Soccer.
In every other major sports league, at least half of the players are a single race or ethnicity: More than three-quarters of NBA players, 70 percent of WNBA players and 65 percent of NFL players are Black. Major League Baseball is the only other sport close to that measure of diversity: 60 percent of MLB players are white. (The study did not look at the National Hockey League, which is almost entirely white.)
Major League Soccer also leads in another measurement of diversity, known as the Simpson Index, which uses mathematical formulas to determine the likelihood that two players selected at random from the same league will be of the same race or ethnicity.
If two MLS players were selected at random, there's only a 32 percent chance that they would be of the same race or ethnicity. If you did the same with two Major League Baseball players, you'd have a roughly 46 percent chance that they are the same race or ethnicity.
That likelihood skyrockets to 66 percent with the NBA, including a 58 percent chance that both players would be Black.
With the exception of Asians, Major League Soccer demonstrates the most diversity across each of the racial and ethnic groups measured: white, African-American, Asian, Latino or other. About 48 percent of MLS players are white, 25 percent Latino, 10 percent Black and nearly 20 percent are identified as "other." The high proportion of "other" stems from the number of Black players who were previously identified as African-American but who now are identified as being from other parts of the world.
In addition to the 60 percent of MLB players who are white, almost 30 percent are Latino and 10 percent are Black. The NBA and NFL are both made up of almost entirely white or Black athletes—at least 95 percent of the players in each league.
A study reported by The Washington Post in June showed the benefits of diversity on the playing field, or pitch as it's known in soccer. A look at the major European soccer leagues showed a direct correlation between player diversity and team results in competition.
Simply put, diversity produces success.
New study shows women of color have a 70 percent higher rate of major birth problems, even when they suffer the same health ailments as white women.
The University of Michigan released a study that shows women of color have higher rates of major birth problems. Many required emergency treatment such as blood transfusions — a staggering three-quarters of cases —for women suffering a serious hemorrhage.
The study of 40,873 women between 2012-2015 revealed Black women had 70 percent higher rate of severe birth-related health issues than white women, and that a disparity existed in terms of needing life-saving treatment—50.5 Black mothers vs. 40.9 white mothers per 10,000.
Black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the C.D.C.
"Celebrities like Serena Williams who have shared their birth-related emergency stories publicly have drawn the national spotlight to the urgent need to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care for women around the time of delivery. To drive and target those changes, we need specific data like these," said Lindsay Admon, M.D., M.Sc., the study's lead author.
Williams, who has a history of blood clots, began feeling short of breath in the hospital the day after her daughter Alexis Olympia was born. A nurse said her pain medication was likely confusing her, but Williams was persistent and it saved her life.
"Situations like these are often considered near misses, and looking at them allows us to get a better picture of who the high-risk women really are," said Admon, an obstetrician at Michigan Medicine's Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, and a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
All women who had chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, depression or substance use issues before giving birth had a higher risk for the continuation of those problems post-child birth, but women of color with two or more conditions were two to three times more likely to have major birth problems than white women.
White women had higher rates of depression and substance use issues than any other group, but the risk for birth problems was lower than women of color with the same health issues.
While Medicaid pays for almost two-thirds of all births among women of color, access to care is another issue that affects births and post birth health. Medicaid pays for more than a third of births of white and Asian women.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Blacks and Latinos were more likely than whites to face barriers in access to health care.
Between 2013 and 2015, disparities with whites narrowed for Blacks and Latinos in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, including the percentage of uninsured working-age adults, the percentage who skipped care because of costs, and the percentage who lacked a regular care provider.
Medicaid pays for most procedures for women of color.
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The multiple Grammy-winning artist turned down the offer to perform because she doesn't agree with the NFL's stance.
Rihanna, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, has turned down a coveted offer by the NFL to headline the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show because she stands in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and NFL players who take a knee.
Failure to directly address concerns leads to weak support. Races in Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Florida, states with growing Hispanic populations, are bungled.
Lynn Redden makes a racist Facebook post then offers a canned apology.
Witnesses say they heard the officer say, "Let me in. Let me in."
Botham "Bo" Jean was killed around 10 p.m. on Thursday night by Amber Guyger, a four-year veteran of the Dallas police department, who just ended her shift and returned to her apartment complex.
The 911 call said she cried after shooting Jean in the chest, and apologized saying she thought it was her apartment. Her arrest warrant says that Guyger reports drawing her gun when she saw a figure in the dark apartment, giving verbal commands—which were ignored—and then firing two shots.
But witnesses, according to the family lawyers, say that they heard sounds and talking that contradict that report.
"They heard knocking down the hallway followed by a woman's voice that they believe to be officer Guyger saying, 'Let me in. Let me in,'" attorney Lee Merritt said.
After the gunshots, a man's voice was heard.
"What we believe to be the last words of Botham Jean which was 'Oh my god, why did you do that?'" Merritt said.
There were two witnesses, Caitlyn Simpson and Yasmine Hernandez, that heard a lot of noise on the fourth floor that night, including 'police talk', like: "Open up!"
There was also a video taken by witnesses of Jean being rolled out on a stretcher, with EMS performing chest compressions on him.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson is collecting all of the evidence before presenting to a grand jury, which could decide to up the charges to murder.
"We're going to unravel what we need to unravel, unturn what we need to unturn, and present a full case to the grand jury of Dallas County," Johnson said.
Protests were held Monday night outside the police department as questions still remain:
What were the results of the blood test for Guyger, and why did police respond from 30 miles away, rather than Dallas police headquarters that was two blocks away?
The family's lawyers are also still asking why Guyger was allowed to leave the scene without handcuffs and not be arrested for three days. "You or I would be arrested if we went to the wrong apartment and blow a hole in a person's chest, killing them," said Benjamin Crump.
The officer was arrested Sunday, and released on $300,000 bail as of Monday. She is on paid administrative leave.
Botham Jean's funeral is on Thursday.
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Dallas family protested the officer being free and on leave for three days after the killing.
Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who is white, fatally shot a 26-year-old Black man, Botham Jean, in his own apartment on Thursday, claiming she entered what she thought was her own home.
Company leadership says loud, sexy, Hispanic employees with ethnic mannerisms are not allowed.
Former employees at Swire Properties filed a lawsuit in August against the company claiming they were fired because there was no place for "Hispanic Emotionalism" at work.
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"The collusion is obvious," writes Rev. Jackson.