Richard Lapchick has had a long, distinguished career advocating for diversity in sports and human rights. Lapchick's father, Joe, signed the first black player in the NBA as the head coach of the New York Knicks in 1950. As a young man, the negative backlash that move received spurned him on to pursue a life of activism. Lapchick's early work centered around fighting apartheid in South Africa and he also worked for the United Nations from 1978-84. Upon leaving the UN, he founded the Center of the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University. Lapchick then left after a year to start the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. He started authoring the annual Racial and Gender Report Card, which has helped guide many pro sports organizations. Lapchick was named the endowed chair at the University of Central Florida's DeVos Sport Business Management Program in 2001.
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