Study: MLS maintains high marks in racial hiring

By KYLE HIGHTOWER | October 5, 2011 | 4:00 PM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A new study finds Major League Soccer has maintained high marks for its racial hiring practices but has slipped slightly when it comes to gender.

The University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released its Race and Gender Report Card on the MLS Wednesday. It gave it its second straight A grade for race and C-plus for gender, for a combined grade of B.

The report shows that like its professional sports counterparts, the MLS has its most diversity in the league office. The percentage of minority players in MLS also increased to 48 percent, its highest level since the institute started gathering figures on the league in 1998.

Wednesday's report follows previous ones on Major League Baseball, the NBA, WNBA and NFL.