Sports business leaders, who face greater public exposure and scrutiny than executives in other industries, have long been confronted with pressure to ensure that their industry is diverse. The diversity emphasis has been focused primarily on race and gender. In recent years, a global diversity element has come into play as well. In general, sports has attained a leadership position for its on-field diversity, but has long lagged in diversity in the front office and ownership.

Well before Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball in 1947, municipalities, led by New York City, often raised racial discrimination issues. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made a number of pronouncements ...

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