Reports have emerged that, prior to the start of the new premier league season on Saturday, the BBC held an ‘avoiding racial bias’ online training session with their sports commentators yesterday. This session provided a list of words that commentators must not use on air.
Some of the words on the list include, but were not limited to ‘Cakewalk’, ‘nitty gritty’, ‘sold down the river’ and ‘uppity’ as well as ‘blackballed’, ‘blacklisted’, ‘black mark’ and ‘whiter than white’. In addition to this those present were warned against describing black players as having ‘pace’ and/or ‘power’ as it could see them ‘fall into the trap of racial stereotyping’.
UNN’s Oliver Down understands that the session was put on by the BBC but was in partnership with the Professional Footballers Association. 450 people took part in the session and the BBC extended the session to include staff from Sky Sports, ITV, BT Sport, Premier League production as well as talkSPORT.
Throughout the session, there were calls for more diversity in journalism. A further development to come out of the session was that UK Sport, Sport England and the other Home Country Sports Councils will commission a review into the perceived lack of diversity in sport at all levels in The United Kingdom. In addition to this, Sport England has announced a review of rules that govern the make-up of sports boards.
This news has resulted in considerable conjecture on social media. The twitter user @KathyConWom said “What about the other bias they don’t address? The ones that are making people cancel their #licencefee #DefundTheBBC #bbcbias #RacialEquity #race ”.
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