The BBC is re-educating its sports commentators

Apparently phrases like ‘blacklist’ and ‘whiter than white’ are to be avoided over fears they perpetuate racism.


Topics Politics UK

The BBC has told football commentators not to use words and phrases such as ‘cakewalk’, ‘nitty gritty’ and ‘blacklist’ due to their supposedly racial connotations, reports the Daily Mail.

During a webinar this week, hosted in partnership with the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and dedicated to ‘avoiding racial bias’, staff were also reportedly told to avoid using terms like ‘pace’ and ‘power’ to describe black players. These words can, apparently, ‘fall into the trap of racial stereotyping’.

A guide sent to the webinar’s attendees explained the thinking (such as it is): ‘Is there a danger of spreading a perception that black players’ success is purely based on their athleticism and doesn’t require hard work and intelligence?’

Other banned phrases included ‘black mark’ and ‘whiter than white’, as these apparently may convey the idea that ‘black = bad, white = good’. The BBC also invited representatives from other broadcasters, including ITV and BT. The event was chaired by Sky’s Jessica Creighton.

The idea that anyone could be truly and justifiably upset at the use of phrases like ‘whiter than white’ is absurd. Pointless interventions like this only show how out-of-touch the BBC has become.

Picture by: Getty.

spiked is free, and it always will be, which is why we need your help. We don’t have a paywall, or bonus content for paying customers, because we want our arguments for freedom and democracy, against misanthropy and identity politics, to reach as many people as possible. Which is why we ask those of our readers who can afford it to chip in. One-off donations are hugely appreciated, but monthly donations are even better. They allow us to plan for the future and to grow. Even £5 a month is a huge help. It’s much cheaper than your average magazine subscription, and it ensures that spiked is free and open to all. To make either a monthly or a one-off donation, click here. Thank you for your support.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.