The NFL received a high grade for its racial hiring practices and a C+ for gender hires, according to the annual report released Thursday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.
TIDES gave the league its sixth consecutive A grade on racial hiring practices and an overall grade of B.
Dr. Richard Lapchick, the author of the study, told The Associated Press that the NFL increased hiring after the Ray Rice domestic abuse case. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games, then suspended him indefinitely after a video showed Rice punching his financee unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator in February 2014.
''One of the reasons the Ray Rice story was handled the way it was handled was because there wasn't a significant number of women advisers in the league office as well as on the teams,'' Lapchick said.
There are 31 women who currently serve as vice presidents in the league office, up from 21 in 2014. Kim Pegula, an Asian- American woman, joined an NFL ownership group with the Buffalo Bills this year.
There are six people of color currently in NFL head coaching jobs. Four of those coaches made the playoffs last year - Carolina's Ron Rivera, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis, Detroit's Jim Caldwell and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin. The record high was eight coaches in 2011.
There are currently seven general managers who are people of color among the 32 teams.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL