A diversity report found the NBA continues to lead men’s professional sports in racial and gender hiring practices, fueled by more general managers and assistant coaches of color in the league. Wednesday’s report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) assigned an overall B-plus grade, with an A for racial hiring and a B for gender hiring. The report annually examines positions for franchises as well as in league leadership, with this edition using data from early in the 2020-21 season. The overall and racial-hiring grades were down slightly from last season (A-minus and A-plus respectively), while numerical scores in all three major categories fell slightly. Institute director and lead report author Richard Lapchick noted that decrease was due largely to a change in methodology that includes team ownership for the first time, which he expects will lead to drops for every league. The report highlighted racial-hiring gains with general managers and assistant coaches to all-time high levels. There were 12 general managers of color early in the season, up from seven to start the previous year, to earn an A-plus. In addition, people of color made up 52.7% of assistant coaches for an A-plus, marking the first time that figure surpassed 50%. The league earned an A for racial hiring with head coaches. And that was before a hiring cycle that saw people of color fill seven of eight positions since the start of the season, pushing the league-wide total to 15 — one shy of the league record from 2011-12. There were also gains in gender hiring, with women making up 37.9% of team senior management positions (a B grade) and 42% at the league office (an A-minus) … The Timberwolves finalized their acquisition of guard Patrick Beverley, sending guard Jarrett Culver and forward Juancho Hernangómez to the Grizzlies.
No masks, vaccination needed at US Open
Spectators will not be required to wear masks or show proof of their vaccination status to attend matches at the US Open when the tennis tournament returns at full capacity starting Monday in New York, one year after all fans were banned from the event because of the coronavirus pandemic. “The goal is not to prevent all cases of COVID. The goal, really, is to be certain that we don’t have an outbreak of COVID that’s going to be unusual or that we would regret,” Dr. Brian Hainline, a US Tennis Association first vice president and member of its medical advisory group, said on a conference call with reporters. “We’re still relying on the goodwill of people. The unvaccinated — although it’s not going to be enforced — they really should be wearing masks. I expect many vaccinated individuals are going to be wearing masks, as well.” Hainline and other USTA officials said the tournament’s protocols are based on those laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York City Department of Public Health. Players and their team members are allowed to go out in the city, but are advised to exercise caution and avoid crowds indoors. Players don’t need to be vaccinated to compete, but will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and then every four days. A positive result will force the player to isolate for 10 days and withdraw from play … Katerina Siniakova cruised into the quarterfinals at Tennis in the Land with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Nagi Hanatani in Cleveland. Siniakova will next face second seed Anett Kontaveit, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Caroline Garcia. Zhang Shuai beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) … American Frances Tiafoe beat Thiago Monteiro, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) in the third round of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Open. Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta reached the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Dominik Koepfer
Czech women win Group B at worlds
Dominika Laskova scored twice and the Czech Republic (4-0) skated to a 2-0 win over Germany (2-1) in the women’s world hockey championship at Calgary to win Group B and avoid having to face the United States or Canada in the quarterfinals. All five teams in Group A — with the five-time defending champion US (3-0) and Canada (3-0) set to play for the pool title Thursday night — and the top three in Group B will advance to the quarterfinals. In Group A, Petra Nieminen scored twice as Finland (1-2) earned a 4-0 win over Russia (1-3).
Mbappé on the move?
Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo said the French club has rejected an offer of about $188 million from Madrid forward Kylian Mbappé but added that it is willing to negotiate. Leonardo said the initial Madrid offer is below what PSG expected. Acknowledging for the first time that Mbappé wants to leave, Leonardo said the club won’t hold the 22-year-old back, but any deal will only be made on the club’s terms. The club had been saying he was not for sale and that it wants to extend his contract … Demanding all players be released for World Cup qualifiers, FIFA president Gianni Infantino asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lift quarantine requirements for players to allow them to travel next week to play for their countries. Infantino himself took advantage of an exemption in place for the European Championship so he could fly into London from Rio de Janeiro in July and avoid 10 days of hotel quarantine in England. The Premier League defied FIFA to decide Tuesday that almost 60 players from 19 clubs would not be released to fly to qualifiers in 26 countries on Britain’s red list — including all South American nations. Serie A said it supports clubs not releasing players to countries where they would have to quarantine upon return to Italy. The Spanish league also said it would support clubs that did not want to release players to South American teams … Wilfried Van Moer, nicknamed the “Little General” who played in two World Cups (1970, 1982) and led Belgium to the 1980 European Championship final, has died. He was 76. The former midfielder suffered a brain hemorrhage and died at a hospital in Leuven, the Belgian soccer association said.
WooSox blast past Buffalo
Yairo Muñoz and Joey Meneses each had two solo home runs and Connor Wong added another as the Worcester Red Sox earned a 9-4 road win over the Buffalo Bisons. Starter Kyle Hart (5-7) worked five innings, allowing two runs on six hits for the victory, while walking two and fanning three … Kole Cottam hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run eighth inning but the Portland Sea Dogs fell to the Reading Fightin Phils, 9-7, at Hadlock Field … Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic won the 11th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, cutting into the overall lead of Norway’s Odd Christian Eiking. Roglic overtook Spaniard Enric Mas late in the 83-mile leg that ended in Valdepeñas de Jaén, Spain. Roglic is now third, less than two minutes behind Eiking. Frenchman Guillaume Martin is second, less than a minute back … Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality drew the No. 2 post position for Saturday’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in New York. The champion 2-year-old will have regular rider Luis Saez aboard in the $1.25 million race, run at 1 1/4 miles.