COLUMBUS, Ohio – Black players in the NBA are 30% more likely to quit the league in any given season than white players who perform equally well on the court, according to a new study.
The results were driven primarily by bench players, who are the majority of those in the league, but who average less than 20 minutes of action per game.
These findings suggest that even in the NBA – a league in which black players make up 70 to 75 percent of those on the court – African Americans face discrimination, said Davon Norris, lead author of the study and doctoral student in sociology in Ohio. State University.
“If there was to be anywhere in America where one would expect there to be no racial disparities, it would be the NBA,” Norris said.
“But even here, we see that there is an advantage to being white for the most part.”
The disparity is not obvious if you look raw data over the length of their careers, because black and white players are leaving the league at a similar rate, said study co-author Corey Moss-Pech, a PhD student from Ohio State who is now postdoctoral researcher in sociology at the University of Michigan.
“We see the effects when we factor in performance,” Moss-Pech said.
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