Leagues and Governing Bodies

White Sox' Williams sees room for improved diversity in MLB ranks

White Sox Exec VP Ken Williams wants to "leave a legacy" as someone who "valiantly fought for equal opportunity in an industry inundated with dismal minority representation among front offices and field managers," according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Williams will join former Ravens Exec VP & GM Ozzie Newsome at the season's conclusion for the "longest tenure, 22 years, by an African American to head operations of a major North American sports franchise." There have been 15 GM and President of Baseball Operations openings in MLB the past two offseasons, and "not a single Black person was hired." Williams said, "Can you imagine if the whole room was Black for 22 years and you walked in and said, 'Man, we just can’t find any qualified white people anywhere.’ How insulting would that be?" Williams: "When you hear people say, 'I can’t find any qualified Black candidates for these jobs,' that’s just a false statement. I can go to the Buck O’Neil Scouts Foundation dinner and I can find people who have advanced degrees who have been in baseball for 10, 20, 25 years." Williams is "one of the few front-office executives unafraid to publicly convey his thoughts." There are "about 15 owners" who have approached Williams asking for "guidance or vowing to make a difference in their organizations, which gives Williams hope" (USA TODAY, 1/16).

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