Groundbreaking report reveals racial bias in English football commentary

  • Players with lighter skin more often praised for intelligence
  • Power and pace referenced more often if player has darker skin

Racial bias is a clear and significant problem in English football commentary, according to a groundbreaking study that found players with lighter skin are regularly and overwhelmingly praised for intelligence, work ethic and quality compared with those with darker skin, who are reduced to physical and athletic attributes.

The study has been carried out by RunRepeat, a Danish research firm, and is the first aimed at understanding whether the football media talks differently about players depending on their skin tone. More than 2,000 statements from commentary on 80 games across the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1 were analysed.

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