Press Release

ADL Announces Expansion of Sports Leadership Council

Includes Commissioners of the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, as well as Hall of Fame Athletes and Olympians, Sports Owners and Executives, Media Executives and Civil Rights Leaders

New York, NY, November 14, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League today announced the expansion of its Sports Leadership Council – a new initiative to work in partnership with professional athletes and sports leaders to promote positive social change and combat hate, bullying, and discrimination in our society – to include the commissioners of the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, as well tennis great Venus Williams, and WNBA President Lisa Borders.

The Council – which was announced in September -- works directly with key leaders in the sports world, including professional athletes, team owners, and other industry leaders to increase the sports community’s efforts to build bridges of understanding, unity and respect. The Council will work with ADL, on an ongoing basis, to seek opportunities for collaboration within the sports world and engage communities across the country through the excitement and popularity of sports.

Initial members of the Council included Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, who chairs the Council, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, tennis icon Billie Jean King, and NFL Hall of famer Ronnie Lott.

Since September, leaders across the industry have stepped up to take part in this important initiative.

New members of the Council, announced today at ADL’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, include -- along with the top professional and college commissioners -- Hall of Fame athletes and Olympians, sports owners and executives, media executives, and civil rights leaders.

“Leaders in the sports world have impacted social change historically over the years, and we are excited to deepen our collective commitment to this effort with the ADL," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “The Council will serve as a forum through which we can influence issues around equality and fair play in the sports world, as well as take advantage of the expertise and resources of the ADL as we navigate sports’ impact on society.”

“The sports industry has the remarkable power to break down barriers, unify people and bring about social change. We have an opportunity to work together to promote fairness, equality, inclusion and mutual respect from the playing field to the classroom,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “We are honored to have such a diverse group of sports luminaries to take part in this new initiative to combat hate, bullying and discrimination.”

The full list includes:

  • National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell
  • Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams
  • National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver
  • Women’s National Basketball Association President Lisa Borders
  • Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred
  • Olympic gold medalist and ESPN baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza
  • Pac-12 Conference Commissioner and Chair of Council Larry Scott
  • Big East Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman
  • NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Former Tennis World Champion Billie Jean King
  • NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott
  • Chairman, CEO and President of the U.S. Tennis Association Katrina Adams
  • Chief Executive, Pro Tennis of the U.S. Tennis Association Stacey Allaster
  • CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation Deborah Antoine
  • President of the Oakland Raiders Marc Badain
  • San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer
  • President and CEO of AEG Dan Beckerman
  • President of NASCAR Brent Dewar
  • Sociologist and civil rights activist Dr. Harry Edwards
  • President of the NCAA Mark Emmert
  • Co-owner and Managing Partner of the Boston Celtics Robert Epstein
  • Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber
  • New York Jets President Neil Glat
  • Golden State Warriors Owner Peter Guber
  • Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee
  • Director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida Richard Lapchick
  • Principal Owner of the Washington Nationals Marla Lerner
  • Head of Sports at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Michael Levine
  • President of Turner Sports David Levy
  • Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations at Major League Baseball Kim Ng
  • Hockey Hall of Famer and member of the International Olympic Committee Angela Ruggiero
  • Partner at Proskauer Brad Ruskin
  • President of the Tennis Channel Ken Solomon
  • President of the Golden State Warriors Rick Welts
  • Executive Chairman of WME Patrick Whitesell
  • Owner of the Minnesota Vikings Mark Wilf

ADL and the Sports Council work at a national level and across ADL’s network of 26 regional offices to develop forums, educational campaigns, public service announcements and other actions on issues ranging from discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and other forms, as well as tackling bullying in our schools.