NFL improves diversity hiring practices

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A new study found that the NFL has improved its hiring practices to increase diversity.

The league received an overall B grade in the report released Thursday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. It earned an A- for racial hiring practices and a C on gender hiring practices. Those are the highest grades the NFL has received from the institute over the years.

“We are making progress, but we are certainly not content,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We know we can do better and we are committed to improving.”

The study analyzed data provided by the league on the racial breakdown of players and coaches and the racial and gender breakdown of team and NFL management and other officials.

The institute had not issued the league a grade on gender since it received a D+ in 2004 because the NFL had not provided the data. The league started providing data again this year.

The report cited “sustained progress” in improving racial diversity at the head coach and general manager positions. The 32-team NFL has six African-American head coaches and five African-American general managers.

Those coaches are Chicago’s Lovie Smith, Indianapolis’ Jim Caldwell, San Francisco’s Mike Singletary, Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.