April 8, 2009

Diversity lacking on U.S. Olympic boards

More than half of the 38 sports federation boards of the U.S. Olympic movement have no African-American members, an analysis indicates.

In addition, Asians are represented on only eight of the boards while just five of the federations have any Hispanic members, USA Today reported Wednesday.

The newspaper says a study of the gender and ethnic breakdown of USA Olympics indicates diversity is missing on federation boards in the wake of reforms intended to strengthen leadership of the movement.

No African-Americans hold the highest salaried position on the sports federation boards.

How can we have an African-American president in the White House unifying the nation and yet have such an exclusive club in the Olympics, says Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

Lapchick says he was supposed to meet with the USA Olympic officials last fall to discuss diversity but the meeting was canceled and has not been rescheduled.