Addressing Gender Discrimination in the NBA with a “Hammon” Rule
Keywords:gender discrimination, NBA, EIM, homologous reproduction, role congruity
The purpose of this conceptual study was to examine how the National Basketball Association (NBA) should address gender discrimination in sports by implementing the “Hammon” Rule for head coaching and general manager hiring processes. Drawing from societal perceptions (Sagas & Cunningham, 2004; Schaeperkoetter et al., 2017), leadership (Burton, 2015) and the infusion of the Ecological-Intersectional Model (EIM) (LaVoi, 2016) as conceptual focal points, this article asserts that the NBA has important opportunities to lead other professional sports leagues to aid in its recruitment and retention of women in front-facing leadership roles. Utilizing Lapchick’s (2020a) report on race and gender for the NBA, this study calls for progressive action. As the current literature documents, legal and cultural factors, as well as leadership and lack of advocacy, all play a crucial role in how women are perceived within sport. This study provides a multi-faceted approach to addressing gender discrimination at the coaching and general manager levels, including accountability measures necessary for structural and organizational change to address gender discrimination in the NBA and beyond.