In its 2019 Racial and Gender Report Card, the NFL received an overall score of 79.3% - its lowest mark in 15 years.
It also received C+ and B marks in its gender and racial hiring practices, respectively.
As the CEO of Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University, Kenneth Shropshire has seen the likes of African-Americans Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick become quarterbacks in the NFL. He also noted the creation of The Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview minorities for head coaching and senior football operations jobs.
But despite the decline in many of its metrics in the report card this year, Shropshire remains confident that over time, the league will continue to improve in this area across the board.
“We can be optimistic that a better day will come and that there won’t be a lack of decisions to bring in people of color,” Shropshire said.
While the NFL is still struggling to display holistic diversity in the workplace, it is making progress with its gender hires. For 2019, the league earned a 76% for its gender score – a 2% bump year-over-year. It also saw gender diversity rise in the league office, up +1.8% year-over-year, and in team vice president positions, up 2.5% from last year.