Clive Tyldesley calls for co-commentators to receive training on racial stereotyping

Clive Tyldesley says “proper training” is needed for pundits after a study found “evident bias” in some broadcasts relating to the skin tone of players.

Tyldesley, main football commentator for ITV, said on YouTube he had written to the Professional Footballers’ Association about the matter.

He also questioned whether ex-players may have contributed to the findings.

“Co-commentators, ex-players, their members, may well have contributed to the stereotyping,” he said.

“I mentor undergraduates. I discuss the business, the purpose of commentary with them – does anyone discuss that with the co-commentators who step straight off the field and pick up a mic?

“Most of the opinions and judgements you hear during commentaries come from the co-comms, they don’t come from me, the lead comm.”

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 PFA, concluded that the findings showed “bias from commentators”.

ITV was not one of the broadcasters whose commentary was analysed.

According to newspaper reports, BT Sport, who hold live rights to broadcast Premier League football along with Sky and Amazon, is going to introduce mandatory training for all staff following the report.

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