A diversity report shows the WNBA remains the leader among professional sports leagues in hiring women and minorities for coaching and front-office positions.
The league earned an overall A-plus grade, including an A-plus for racial hiring and an A for gender hiring, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES) announced Wednesday.
The WBNA scored 94.8 points in the TIDES rating system, down slightly from last year's record-setting score of 97.6 points. TIDES also issues report cards for the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS and college sports. Since the WNBA's inaugural season in 1997, it has held the top position in the racial and gender report cards.
"They have been setting the standard for racial and gender diversity among all professional leagues," said Richard Lapchick, the institute's director and the lead report author.
This is the 15th consecutive year the WNBA has received no worse than an A for its overall race, gender and combined grades.
The WNBA received an A-plus for gender in five categories: team vice presidents and above, assistant coaches, general managers, managers to senior directors and league office. The category of head coaches received a grade of A-minus.
The WNBA is the most diverse league in professional sports with 45.2% of professional positions being held by women and 29.2% of positions being held by people of color.
Liberty, Smith parting
The New York Liberty is not renewing the contract of head coach Katie Smith, the team announced. Smith, who played for the Lynx from 1999 until 2005, went 10-24 this past season and 7-27 in 2018, Smith's first year as head coach.
Boxer Day dies of head injuries
Boxer Patrick Day died Wednesday in Chicago, four days after suffering head injuries in a fight with former Olympian Charles Conwell. He was 27.
Day, winner of two amateur national titles and an Olympic alternate in 2012, had brain surgery after being knocked out in the 10th round Saturday night in a junior middleweight bout.
AROUND THE HORN
College football: Maryland slot receiver DJ Turner will redshirt this season after he was charged with drunken driving, among other offenses, on Sept. 20. He has not played since but started the season's first three games.
Women's tennis: American 15-year-old Coco Gauff lost her opening match at the Luxembourg Open in straight sets, just three days after winning her first WTA title. Eighth-seeded Anna Blinkova beat her 6-4, 6-0. … Belinda Bencic won six of the last seven games and beat Polona Hercog 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. The 10th-ranked Bencic needs to reach the final to overtake Serena Williams and Kiki Bertens for the last spot in the eight-player WTA Finals.
Soccer: UEFA has been asked by the Italian sports minister to consider moving this season's Champions League final out of Istanbul because of Turkey's military action in Syria.
Cycling: Three-time Olympian Taylor Phinney, 29, is retiring from professional racing, ending a career that included 10 world championship medals.