ABSTRACT

This chapter introduced issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in sport. Gary Becker introduced the theory of how the tastes and preferences of employers, employees, and consumers can affect wages of athletes. Evidence shows that, although discrimination was overt in the 1940s, it has diminished over time. Examples from MLB and the NFL support the hypothesis that discriminators suffer lower profits and/or lower success rates, as measured in wins.

Economists regard discrimination as the indulgence of a distaste for employing, working with, or making a purchase involving members of a specific race, ethnicity, or gender. Though there is conflicting evidence regarding the continuing existence of unequal access or unequal pay due to race or ethnicity in professional sports, evidence from most leagues does not support equal access to playing positions, the coaching ranks, or the front office.

Women have made some inroads to high level administrative positions, broadcasting booths, and officiating crews. Measuring gender discrimination in sports is more difficult than measuring racial discrimination because men’s and women’s sports are typically segregated by gender. That the separation of sport by gender often leaves athletes to do not conform to traditional gender norms feeling excluded leaves significant work for governing bodies.