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 and gave the MLS 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 percent of minority players in MLS also increased to 48 percent, its highest level since the institute started gathering figures on the league in 1998.
Inside the league office, the percent of minorities increased from 39 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2011. Also, Latinos increased from 26 percent to a record high of 29 percent.
At the team level, the percentage of minority players in MLS also increased to 48 percent.
"MLS soccer is trying to become a reflection of the incredible popularity of soccer internationally," said Richard Lapchick, the study's primary author.
In other soccer news:
* Three members of West Germany's 1966 World Cup football team may have broken doping rules with cold-treatment medicine, according to a letter seen by German magazine Der Spiegel. West Germany lost to host England, 4-2, in the final.
* Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has been suspended for two games and fined $800 for eye-poking a Barcelona counterpart during a brawl in August, although his ban will not sideline him from any of his club's league matches.
Atlanta's other pro sports teams are chipping in to support the Dream in the WNBA Finals. The Braves, Falcons and Hawks have purchased a total of 1,500 upper-deck tickets for Game 3 tomorrow night against the Minnesota Lynx. The tickets are available at no cost on a first-come, first-serve basis to fans calling the team's ticket office.
* Prosecutors filed a felony weapons charge against former NBA player Darius Miles for allegedly trying to take a loaded handgun through security at a St. Louis airport Aug. 3. Miles last played in the NBA with Memphis in 2008-09.
Sport Stops *
Olympic gymnastics champion
has pleaded not guilty to assault and two other misdemeanor charges in Upper Arlington, Ohio. He is accused of kicking a taxi driver in suburban Columbus, damaging a cab window and refusing to pay a $23 fare. He was heard on video telling police he'd had about eight drinks. Hamm had been an Ohio State assistant gymnastics coach since June, but was fired after his arrest in September.
* Tiger Woods has his first major endorsement since his downfall 2 years ago, announcing a deal with Rolex to be one of its ambassadors.