Influential figures, Tamika D. Mallory and Reverend Michael McBride, are taking a firm stance against Panini America, alleging the company’s failure to recognize the importance of Black leadership. They are championing the cause for greater diversity and well-balanced representation within the sports and entertainment collectibles organization. In a letter addressed to Panini America’s chief executive, Mark Warsop, Mallory and McBride express their concerns and insist on an immediate overhaul of the company’s recruitment processes.
Mallory says, that “despite up to 75 percent of Panini’s business coming from black and brown athletes, the senior leadership team fails to reflect this diversity. The statistics clearly indicate a significant gap in representation. The absence of black leadership in such a profitable company is deemed an utter failure, as Panini owes much of its success to the talent and efforts of its black and brown athletes. The alarming fact that out of 800 employees showcased on LinkedIn, only three belong to the Black ethnicity highlights the extensive lack of diversity throughout Panini’s workforce.”
Mallory and McBride are resolute in their demands for change, issuing a clear message to Panini. Unless the company swiftly appoints black leaders in important roles, there will be legal consequences. The dynamic duo has devised a plan in case Panini does not comply – they aim to rally Panini’s partners and athletes, including prominent organizations like FIFA, NBA, NFL, along with associations such as NBA Players Association and NFL Players Association, to initiate a boycott. Influential names, including the English Premier League, are actively involved in this campaign.
Recognizing the need to address the double standard at work within Panini’s practices, Mallory and McBride have reached out to three state Attorney Generals: Ken Paxton from Texas, Letitia James from New York, and Rob Bonta from California. By involving these representatives in the discussion, they seek to shed light on Panini’s operations and make them more transparent. The joint statement from Mallory and McBride emphasizes that it is unacceptable for Panini to benefit from the efforts of black and brown athletes while excluding black individuals from positions of power.
Tamika D. Mallory’s unwavering dedication to ensuring justice for all is widely acknowledged. She is a prominent figure in the civil rights movement, co-founder of Until Freedom—an organization focusing on addressing systemic and racial injustice with the participation of people of color. Mallory’s influence spans various communities and she holds the remarkable distinction of being the youngest Executive Director in National Action Network’s history. She also co-led the historic Women’s March on Washington, known as the largest single-day event in America. Mallory’s passionate and emotionally charged address following George Floyd’s murder has been dubbed the “speech of a generation.”
As one of the founding members of the Black Church Political Action Committee (PAC), Reverend Michael McBride has made significant contributions to its growth and advancement. His work focuses on crucial causes such as ending unjust incarceration, protecting voting rights, combating gun violence, and striving for equitable treatment for minority communities. McBride’s efforts have a profound impact, particularly in addressing the challenges faced by disadvantaged groups and driving real transformation.