Major League Baseball's Diversity Problem

Friday, April 12, 2013

Major League Baseball is experiencing an historic low in the number of African-American players. The league says about 8.5 percent of players on this year’s opening-day rosters identified themselves as African-American or black. That’s around half the number from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s.

MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig has announced a new task force charged with reversing that decline. The 18-member committee will study how to increase diversity in the game, especially among black players.

“We have about 15 percent of our youth who are African-Americans, who participate in our program, and the majority of our kids are Latino,” said Vincent Coleman, director of baseball and softball programs at Harlem RBI. “It’s become a big challenge for us recently, of course, just like major league baseball.

Theories abound on why baseball is less popular among young African-American athletes, from a decrease in college scholarships to an increase in single-parent homes. Dr. Richard Lapchick, professor of sports management with the University of Central Florida, thinks there are other factors, like the popularity of sports like football and basketball among African-Americans.  

Click on the audio link to hear host Richard Hake’s full conversation with Vincent Coleman and Richard Lapchick.


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Comments [4]

jackie from Chicago

Just the NFL (65% black) and NBA (78%) have racial diversity hiring days? Those leagues seem highly unbalanced to me. This story was beyond insulting for people of any color.

Apr. 14 2013 02:34 PM
Stanley Shih from New York

The NFL and the NBA have diversity problems too. I'm looking forward to the follow-up stories on those topics.

Apr. 13 2013 08:29 AM
Steve from New York

I thought the historic low in the number of African-American players was the 60 years between when Moses Fleetwood and Jackie Robinson played when there were none. I'm not sure how you can get much lower than zero.

Apr. 13 2013 12:14 AM
FBastiat from NJ

This is one of the dumbest stories I have ever heard. If if ran on 4/1 it would make great april fool's story. Just because a certain ethnic group once had a higher representation in a particular sport doesn't mean discrimination is involved and we should work to social engineer the problem away. In Sports there is total discrimination: the best players play regardless of their color or religion because the bottom line is winning. Maybe the central planners and social engineers could learn something from sports and mimic to rectify societal PC policies!

Apr. 12 2013 09:55 PM

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