At MLSE, we believe that achieving full inclusion is game changing.
In order to realize the power of full inclusion in our workplace and in our community, we must tackle the effects of racism, prejudice and inequitable treatment directed at members of our society. We are committed to this challenge and are taking concrete action to understand and eliminate barriers to inclusion, particularly for those disproportionately impacted in our Black, Indigenous and other marginalized communities. We see tremendous possibilities when inclusion works, and MLSE has an important role to play in advancing meaningful change.
We know that discrimination based on identity and racism exists in our society and has impacted our own company in different ways including our employees, fans, teams and partners. MLSE’s stand is simple - we will not tolerate discrimination and hate directed towards any group. More than that, we will use our platform and influence to lead in the fight against systemic racism and the increasing social injustices faced by many with overlapping identities including Black, Indigenous, persons of colour (BIPOC), women, LGBTQ2S+ and persons with disabilities.
We support and join our employees, players and partners and their efforts to confront racism, advance social justice, and make our community a more inclusive place.
“Our business is founded in people and we know that the most important part of our mission to Bring the world to its feet is bringing people together in our community. We are united in the power of sports and entertainment to accelerate social justice change including efforts to combat systemic racism. We recognize that MLSE and its platform is just one small part of a solution to a problem that has plagued our society for generations, but we also know that our influence, and our ability to help make positive change happen in our society, can be powerful and enduring.” - Michael Friisdahl, President & CEO, MLSE.”
Our commitment to address discrimination, systemic racism and to promote social justice is a multi-year journey focused on four priority areas where we can drive impact:
1. Team and Performance Influence
- Use MLSE social media platforms, broadcast content, public team events (e.g. Coaches Open Houses) and other forums to amplify social justice messages from our players, celebrate events and share stories in our communities.
- Foster an inclusive end-to-end exceptional experience for all fans through a refreshed MLSE Fan Code of Conduct to ensure awareness of our zero tolerance policies for harassment, discrimination and bullying.
2. Inclusive Culture
- Build inclusive leadership capabilities through anti-racism and unconscious bias training and enable all employees through awareness and education to create an inclusive workplace.
- Increase representation of Black, Indigenous and other marginalized groups in senior roles. Refine diversity staffing and representation goals and broaden approach to recruitment, promotion, succession and retention to build diverse talent pipelines.
- Create an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council chaired by the CEO and led by the SVP Equity, Diversity and Inclusion along with a sustainment model that fosters employee participation and engagement.
3. Community Engagement
- Contribute to thought leadership in equity, diversity and inclusion forums and programs that address systemic racism and other barriers to education, health care, sports access, and employment.
- Strengthen MLSE’s existing community ties. The MLSE Foundation aims to raise and commits to investing in excess of $30 million over the next four years to build equity through proven community investment streams that chip away at systemic barriers for thousands of youth, allowing increased support of community partners, providing greater access to free sport programs, empowering community building and creating opportunities for leadership focused on equity, diversity and inclusion. In addition, MLSE has pledged US$10 million to the NBA Foundation as part of its commitment to creating greater economic empowerment and prosperity in the Black community.
4. Partners & Suppliers
- Seek out companies who have demonstrated their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and establish partnerships to co-create purpose-driven marketing programs that positively impact the Black, Indigenous and other marginalized communities.
- Implement a Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure suppliers are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and increase procurement from diverse suppliers.