The 2017 National Basketball Association Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC) was released today, and it confirmed the league’s continued leadership position in the sports industry. Published by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, the report gave the NBA an A for racial hiring practices and a B for gender hiring with an overall A-.
Mark Tatum, the NBA’s COO and the highest-ranking person of color in any of the men’s leagues, reflected that, “Diversity and inclusion are essential to any successful business. Leveraging the mix of talent reflected in this year’s Racial and Gender Report Card is vital to our strategy of inspiring innovation and increasing our connection with fans worldwide. While the report refers to a number of areas where we’ve made progress, it also highlights key opportunities for us, particularly among women in leadership roles. As our league continues to grow globally, we remain committed to recruiting and retaining the best talent who reflect the great diversity of the world we live in.”
Sources said that Silver’s email was not in any way making a statement about the election results. In the email, Silver assured NBA employees that the league and its players will continue to work in communities to try to find a way to improve lives with the understanding that the nation had just emerged divided from a contentious election, according to sources.
Some may argue the NBA is the best U.S. professional sports league on social media. As the new season gets into full swing this week, the league announced it renewed and expanded its partnership with Snapchat. The extended deal will allow fans attending games to incorporate NBA-themed Bitmojis and Lenses into their Snapchat Stories. Additionally, fans at games have the option to display their Bitmoji on the arena jumbotron. With the revamped partnership, the NBA is the first professional sports league to partner with Bitmoji for custom Bitmoji packs.
Twitter emojis have not only become a trend in 2016 but an expected part of the social experience for teams and fans. Around the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, the NBA and Twitter collaborated on 24 Twitter emojis for each player in addition to emojis for the TNT broadcast crew. It will be no different for 2016-17 as all 30 teams will have their own emoji, the league announced on Monday. While 27 of the teams internally decided on their own emojis, three franchises — the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder — allowed their fans to vote for their emoji.