Phillips: ESPN may value black bodies, but do they value black minds?

By Carron J Phillips

Just because you like to hire and showcase black people doesn’t necessarily mean you respect their genius or understand the importance of their positions.

Last month, the 2018 Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) released its Racial and Gender Report Card. It's a biannual account put together by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida. And like clockwork, the diversity numbers within my profession were pathetic.

According to the report: 85 percent of sports editors, 76.4 percent of assistant sports editors, 80.3 percent of columnists, 82.1 percent of reporters and 77.7 percent of copy editors/designers are white.

However, according to the report, the numbers would be even worse if you took away the diversity that ESPN brings to the industry.
"Under the leadership of John Skipper, former President, ESPN has been a leader in the hiring of women and people of color in key positions. In fact, as will be seen, if we take away the ESPN hires as editors, assistant sports editors and columnists, the percentages of women and people of color in those positions would plummet precipitously," said Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, creator of the Racial and Gender Report Card.

But according to a recent article by The Hollywood Reporter, things may not be what they seem at ESPN because there is a political divide within the company.

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