The organization Minorities in Sports is looking to help promote diversity in the sports business industry.
The organization has chapters nationwide including at universities such as Purdue, University of Pennsylvania and now right here on Penn State’s University Park campus.
Toya Gordon, the president of the chapter at Penn State, says MIS is trying to help promote more minority representation within the sports business to help better reflect the sports world in general.
“We’re trying to help create more diversity on the sports business side of things because specifically looking at football and basketball, those are mostly black male-dominated industries,” Gordon said. “Then you look at the sports business industry and there’s not many people that reflect that. But in general there just needs to be more minorities working in the sports industry.”
This lack of minority representation can be seen from the high school to professional level in the sports business. For instance, within the NFL, a 32-team league, only four of the head coaches are minorities. This is in a league that consists of 58.9% African Americans and 70.1% non-white players according to a 2019 study done by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. Yet, there’s only 12.5% of minority head coaches in the league today.
MIS tries to solve these issues by creating more opportunities for their members to get their foot in the door.
“We have a speaker series we give different opportunities connecting people within the industry so that they can actually get into the industry,” Gordon said. “There’s also a group chat dedicated to that, sending different opportunities set aside for MIS members. So that’s something our members can really take advantage of.”
When these future opportunities develop, the members of MIS will be more than prepared as the org stresses professional development. They are a professional organization that wants their members to be prepared for their futures.
They have already had Penn State football coach James Franklin on their speaker series to help bring more attention to the organization’s radar. Gordon says it’s important for them as an org to get their name out there and gain more supporters in order to create change.
“Once people know about us, people will want to support us,” Gordon said. “I think people need to be allies to minorities. Other people need to be committed to change as well. Non-minorities need to be able to help and act as allies and make sure they advocate for everyone. We need allies in the industry and we need people truly dedicated to the change, not just us.”
Stay tuned for more updates on their speaker series. You can follow them on their socials here.
Twitter: @MiSPennState Instagram: @mispennstate
Image courtesy of Samantha Chung
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