Race and Gender in Sports Expert to Beacon Athletes: You Have the Power to Affect Change

Colleen Locke | March 05, 2015
Richard Lapchick spoke to students in the Catherine Forbes Clark Convocation and Athletic Center on Thursday.

Richard Lapchick spoke to students in the Catherine Forbes Clark Convocation and Athletic Center on Thursday.
Image by: Christian Arthur

Conversation with Richard Lapchick Kicks Off Planning of Sport Management Program

As a five-year-old, Richard Lapchick looked out his house in Yonkers, New York and saw his father's image swinging from a tree with people picketing under it. They were protesting the fact that his father Joe Lapchick, then the coach of the New York Knicks, had signed Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, the first African American to play for the team.

That image made an impression on Lapchick, who has made a career of fighting apartheid and gender inequality. Lapchick, president of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), visited campus as part of the Athletics and Recreation, Special Projects and Programs speaker series.

“I think sport has a powerful platform to do good, but our platform is diminished if we're not doing it right,” Lapchick told UMass Boston student-athletes on Thursday.

Just a day before his talk, the NCAS released its annual Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC), which found that 90 percent of coaches of men’s sports at the Division I, II, and III levels are white and that more than 60 percent of coaches of women’s sports are men. Lapchick says the numbers for associate head coaches aren’t much better, so it’s up to today’s generation to change those statistics. He says athletes know when they are in a huddle, race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation doesn’t matter.

“You all have the power to reach out and make someone else's life better,” Lapchick said.

Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation, Special Projects and Programs Charlie Titus said Lapchick was also on campus to help begin to plan out the creation of a sport management program at UMass Boston. Lapchick is currently the endowed chair of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida's College of Business Administration.

About UMass Boston
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.

Tags: athletics , beacons , sports

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