English TV Commentary Across Leagues Shows Racial Bias: Study

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TV commentators reward gamers with lighter pores and skin as extra clever and hardworking than these with darker pores and skin, confirmed a examine by Danish agency RunRepeat.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: June 30, 2020, 12:21 PM IST

Television commentators reward gamers with lighter pores and skin as extra clever and hardworking than these with darker pores and skin, confirmed a examine by Danish agency RunRepeat in affiliation with the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).

The examine analysed 2,073 statements from English-speaking commentators in 80 video games from the 2019-20 season throughout Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1, Spain’s La Liga and England’s Premier League. A complete of 643 gamers of assorted races and pores and skin tones had been mentioned.

Analysis revealed that gamers with darker pores and skin tones had been “significantly more likely” to be lowered to their bodily traits or athletic skills like tempo and energy.

Around 62% of reward was geared toward gamers with lighter pores and skin whereas 63.33% of criticism was geared toward these with darker pores and skin.

“To address the real impact of structural racism, we have to acknowledge and address racial bias. This study shows an evident bias in how we describe the attributes of footballers based on their skin colour,” PFA Equalities Executive Jason Lee stated.

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“Commentators help shape the perception we hold of each player, deepening any racial bias already held by the viewer. It’s important to consider how far-reaching those perceptions can be and how they impact footballers even once they finish their playing career.

“If a participant has aspirations of changing into a coach/supervisor, is an unfair benefit given to gamers that commentators commonly check with as clever and industrious, when these views look like a results of racial bias?”

The examine comes amid protests all over the world towards racial injustice following the dying of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody within the U.S. metropolis of Minneapolis on May 25.


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