The pursuit of a professional sports business education is increasingly becoming a viable career choice for students and entrepreneurs—and no wonder, the U.S. sports industry is big business, very big business. According to Sports Business Journal, the sports business industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. In 2005, Sports Business Journal conducted a survey of the size of the industry and estimated the sports business industry was at $213 billion per year and growing. It’s more than twice the size of the U.S. auto industry and seven times larger than the movie industry.
At present, African Americans and other people of color, as well as women are woefully underrepresented in the sports business industry. By establishing “The Jackie Robinson Institute of Sports Business at UCLA,” a degree program within the existing Anderson School of Management, UCLA will emerge as one of the leader in educating the next cadre of professionally educated sports executives who will increasingly be needed worldwide in the 21st century. And among them will be a diverse group of highly educated sports executives of all races, ethnicities, and women.
Le Conte Avenue was named after Joseph Le Conte.
Joseph Le Conte was an officer in the Confederate States of America army. He came from a slaveholding family with ties to Georgia and South Carolina.
John Le Conte, Joseph’s brother, was both first acting president (1869) and president (1876-1881) of the University of California, Berkeley.
UC, Berkeley (a state university) did not initially accept African Americans, women, Catholics, or Jews. Joseph Le Conte was also a renowned professor, scientist and environmentalist…and a staunch white supremacist and racist during his lifetime.
None of the qualities and attributes cited above (about the Le Conte’s) is the reason that we’re petitioning the City of Los Angeles and UCLA to change the street name to Jackie Robinson Way and establish the Jackie Robinson Institute of Sports Business at UCLA, We are petitioning this change because Jackie Robinson was the antithesis of white supremacy and racism, and he fought all his adult life for the brotherhood of man. And for that, America is a better place because we had Jackie Robinson for a brief time in our lives. And he is in our hearts—still.