Professional Footballers’ Association says Football commentators must address racial bias

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According to a new study there is evident bias in some football commentary relating to the skin tone of players. In 80 televised games analysed across four European leagues, including the Premier League, players with a lighter skin tone were praised more often for their intelligence and work ethic. Meanwhile, those with darker skin tones were significantly more likely to be reduced to their physical characteristics or athletic ability, such as their pace and power. The research, conducted by Danish firm RunRepeat in association with the Professional Footballers’ Association, concluded that the findings showed bias from commentators. The researchers said continuous praise for players with lighter skin tone for their skill level, leadership and cognitive abilities combined with the continuous criticism for players with darker skin tone is likely to influence the perception of the soccer watching public.

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