Major League Soccer (MLS) teams have been handed a new diversity hiring policy which requires two or more non-white candidates to be in the ‘finalist pool’ – with potential fines topping $100,000 for clubs failing to comply.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber claimed the move is a continuation of efforts to “diversify the MLS ecosystem at every level”.
Ecosystem? No doubt this will soon expand into other sports as well. Golf should be ripe for the next sport. Will they get a “handicap?” Literally recall golfer Casey Martin?
The Supreme Court ruled decisively that Casey Martin, the disabled golfer who has been battling the PGA Tour over its walking rule for the last four years, has the legal right to ride in a golf cart during tournament play. The 7-to-2 decision rejected the Tour’s argument. (May 30, 2001)
Then we have this-
The English Touring Opera (ETO) has cited “diversity” to justify not renewing the contracts of 13 musicians, nearly half its orchestra. Though employed on rolling freelance contracts, many of the players had been with ETO for 20 years or more.
Not positive it worked out so swell for the Alec Baldwin and the movie folks making the film “Rust.” Twenty-four year old Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was the armorer on the Santa Fe set of the movie.
But I digress:
MLS Diversity Hiring Policy for MLS Sporting Positions
Prior to hiring any position listed in Table 1 below, the Team Operator must do the following as promptly as possible:
- Notify the League Office of the open position through the League’s Diversity Policy Portal (DPP).
- Ensure the finalist pool includes two (2) or more candidates from underrepresented groups, whereby at least one (1) candidate must be either Black or African American.
- Provide the League Office with information related to all candidates in the finalist pool through the DPP.
- Demonstrate an equal interview process with comparable interview experience for all candidates in the finalist pool through the DPP.
The new rules, which the MLS board announced are aimed at a ‘more robust consideration of non-white candidates for open positions’, apply to sporting roles at clubs in the most high-profile soccer competition in the US.
They order that one of the candidates must be Black or African American ‘as part of a renewed effort to prioritize opportunities for Black candidates’. The policy previously only required one ‘diverse candidate’ to be interviewed for an open position.
As part of ongoing efforts to establish and develop a deep pipeline for sporting staff from underrepresented groups, the updated policy will apply to MLS clubs, MLS’ youth academies – MLS NEXT – and soon to the entire MLS ecosystem, which includes MLS NEXT Pro.
Specific updates to the MLS diversity hiring policy include:
- The addition of a definition of “underrepresented groups” to specify that this term includes Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino(a), American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, Canadian Indigenous, Canadian First Nations, Women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- A new requirement to demonstrate an equal interview process and comparable interview experience for all candidates in the finalist pool for an open sporting position.
- Clarification of public sanctions for teams that fail to abide by the policy, including up to $50,000 fines for first offenses, up to $100,000 fines for second offenses, and fines of more than $100,000 (pursuant to the Commissioner’s discretion) for third offenses and beyond. Previously, the Commissioner had sole discretion to impose sanctions as he saw fit.
- A new commitment to review the policy annually and update it as needed.
- The addition of a specific list of first-team sporting positions and academy sporting positions to which this policy applies.
- The creation of a Diversity Policy Portal (DPP) in which clubs must submit all details of vacant sporting positions and include information related to all candidates in the final candidate pool.
- The addition of specific guidelines for a process to request waivers to the policy, which will be granted only in extenuating circumstances.
Read more at MLS
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