Are you a football fan?

Have you ever noticed there is a racial difference between players and managers in NFL? 

 

Although African Americans dominate the rosters of college and professional football teams as players, they remain grossly underrepresented in the management ranks. African American managers and executives tend to have relatively few opportunities to exercise higher order and reward-relevant job functions such as job authority, job autonomy, and substantive complexity of work. Braddock et al. (2012) focus on a very specific industry—the National Football League (NFL)—to examine minority access to job authority. Using data collected on all active coaches in the NFL between the 2000 and 2006 seasons, this study examines the influence of race on the attainment of job authority in the NFL. Race directly affects people:

  • Assigned to coach central positions
  • Appointed as offensive or defensive coordinators
  • Hired as head coaches

 

 

With controls for years of coaching experience, coaching efficiency, and having played a central position, the results are:

  • African American assistant coaches were 56% less likely than White assistant coaches to be assigned to coach a central position.
  • African American assistant coaches were 63% less likely than White assistant coaches to be assigned to an offensive or defensive coordinator position.
  • African American assistant coaches were 60% less likely than White assistant coaches to be hired as a head coach.

Thus, the race appears to have effects on black people’s access to managerial authority in the NFL.

 

Citation:

Braddock, Jomills H., Eryka Smith, and Marvin P. Dawkins. 2012. “Ethnic minority professionals’ experiences with subtle discrimination in the workplace.” Human Relations 64 (9): 1203 – 1227.

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