Premier League to probe racial bias in television commentary after alarming results from research showed stars with darker skin tones receive 63% of criticism about intelligence, quality and versatility

The Premier League will review the findings of a study which highlighted racial bias in television commentary.

Danish research company RunRepeat conducted a six-month study with the PFA that confirmed ‘deep-rooted racial stereotypes’ are being promoted by commentators.

There are clear differences in the way players are spoken about. Lighter skinned players receive the majority of praise for attributes such as intelligence, quality, and work-rate.

The study confirmed 'deep-rooted racial stereotypes' are being promoted by commentators

The study confirmed ‘deep-rooted racial stereotypes’ are being promoted by commentators 

Players with darker skin tones receive more criticism in those categories and also have physical qualities such as power and speed amplified.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: ‘We will look at that and we will take on board its findings and take action if necessary. There is an issue about representation in football.’ 

Twenty Premier League matches were among the 80 from four of Europe’s top leagues reviewed. Sky Sports and BT Sport were two of the seven broadcasters assessed.

Richard Masters said the Premier League will look into the alarming research conducted

Richard Masters said the Premier League will look into the alarming research conducted

Many football broadcasters in this country already have processes to address some of the issues and concerns raised by the study.

Kick It Out head of development Troy Townsend has held discussions with members of Sky Sports’ team.

BT Sport pledged this month to ‘implement mandatory cultural sensitivity and unconscious bias training’ for all staff as part of plans to review and accelerate their diversity strategy. Five per cent of the commentators and co-commentators in the study were from BAME backgrounds. The lack of lead commentators from minorities is a concern.

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