Is the Sports Media Color-Blind?

David J. Berri
Jennifer Van Gilder
Aju J. Fenn

Examinations of racial discrimination hinge upon the ability of the researcher to accurately measure worker productivity. To overcome this difficulty, researchers have utilized data from professional sports. Unlike many industries, professional sports provide an abundance of performance measures for the individual worker. Unfortunately, the abundance itself may pose a problem, as researchers face a number of plausible measurements of worker performance. As we show, the choice of measurements does impact the results. Additionally, we show that race can also be measured in a variety of ways and that choice also appears to influence the reported findings. Such results indicate that prior research on the topic of racial discrimination may need to be reconsidered.