NYDN's Phillips Says Race, Gender Matter, Sports Media Too White, Too Male

It's no wonder we're being barraged by white guilt and black angst from the nation's sports media. According to the 2018 Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) Racial and Gender Report Card, most of the people working in sports media are white men, and the New York Daily News' Carron J. Phillips is none too pleased about this revelation. For him, sports media has more to do with the race of the reporter and less to do with the reporter of the race.

Phillips makes a living off the perceived racism directed at Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, Lamar Jackson and other African-American athletes. But now he's changing gears and pointing out that "diversity must become sports journalism's most important priority."

To back it up, Phillips cites the APSE report. Produced by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida, this biannual report proves that sports media is dreadfully ... white. The report was issued by Dr. Richard Lapchick, a human rights activist, author and professor. Full disclosure: Lapchick is white, Phillips is African-American and they are both men.

The report showed "pathetic" numbers, Phillip says: 85 percent of the sports editors, 76.4 percent of the assistant sports editors, 80.3 percent of the columnists, 82.1 percent of the reporters and 77.7 percent of the copy editors/designers are white. The overwhelming majority were also men.

The Associated Press was graded a fifth consecutive F for gender hiring practices, a B for racial hiring and an overall grade of D+, its lowest report ever. Phillips believes the grade for racial hiring should be a D because fewer organizations were included in this report. He singled out three sports media specifically—his own NYDN, The Atlantic blog and the Associated Press—for white maleness.

In its 40-plus years, Associated Press Sports Editors have only had six black presidents. The Athletic has no black editors or female reporters, and just 4 percent of its journalists are black. Phillips' says of the NYDN:

"(W)e too need to do better in terms of our sports desk, as well. Of the three editors directly under (Sports Editor Eric) Barrow, two are white men. And of the 21 employees who are listed as a columnist or reporter on staff, 19 are white men. Nine of the 11 copy editors, designers and producers on the desk are also white men. Eighty-nine percent of our staff is made up of white guys."

White as things are, if you remove ESPN from the report, whiteness on the sports beat is even whiter, says Lapchick:

"(I)f 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."

Whites' time may be coming though. In 2020 Lisa Wilson becomes the first black female president of APSE. It could be "the start of a new era," Phillips hopes. Wilson is the editor of, The Undefeated, an ESPN blog devoted almost entirely to race, and she's predicting significant gains in the racial makeup of sports media.

Phillips says race should be prioritized in media hiring. "And for those who think that color shouldn't matter when it comes to hiring practices because 'the best person should get the job,' I'm here to tell you that you're thinking is not only wrong but myopic and covered in racism." Diversity must be a priority like never before, he writes.

Now that the social engineers/social justice warriors in sports media have "exposed" their own whiteness, and previously that of Major League Baseball and the U.S. winter Olympic team, the last remaining targets for race-baiters are sports officials, team owners and the fans. We've already heard snickers from media that NFL owners and fans are predominantly white.

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