Whilst we live in an age where we have to be politically correct I do think sometimes we are taking things a little too far, as exampled with some of the phrases chosen not to be used by football commentators.
The BBC held an “avoiding racial bias” training session to avoid using certain words where 450 people from broadcasting took part.
Some of the words and phrases chosen were not what one might call, “in common usage,” for example; Cakewalk, nitty gritty, sold down the river and uppity were among those on the banned list, along with blackballed, blacklisted, black mark and whiter than white.
Who, I might ask would know the original derivation of cakewalk, nitty gritty and sold down the river, without recourse to Wikipedia and as for uppity, which where it not followed by the “N” word would have no racial connotation, for I am sure I have heard it used in my lifetime against white people with no intended reference to race.
As for banning, blackballed, blacklisted and black mark, I’m forced to wonder are we to eventually ban anything connected with the word black, is my black MG motorcar no longer black, or my wife who comes from Jamaica, is she no longer black? If this is the case I think it will come as a surprise to her.
Those tuning into the webinar were also warned about how describing black players as having pace and/or power could see them fall into the trap of racial stereotyping, although I imagine it would be alright to describe a white player as having both of these attributes.
The suggestion not to use the phrase, “whiter than white” seems a little odd to me as I have never thought of the phrase as having any racial overtones and just meant morally beyond reproach, the suggestion that this implies that black is bad and white is good seems to be stretching a point.
However, blue is sad, yellow is cowardly, red can be construed as angry, pink is girly, lemon is acidic, green is calming and there used to be a colour called “N” word brown which I imagine is now just called various hues of brown from light to dark.
I imagine there are many other colours which may have a feeling or emotion associated with them but I don’t think I have ever heard of the colour black being described as bad.
This matter is not as clear cut as black and white, forgive me for using the analogy for I have no intention of making any colour of the rainbow feel either inferior or superior, let alone getting into a long drawn out argument of the relative merits of fifty shades of grey.
I am so glad that I belong to that small band of chaps, (assuming I haven’t been blackballed from the club) who can’t stand football, for who would want to listen to a bunch of football pundits stuttering over their words while struggling for the correct way to describe the referee’s outfit, amongst other things.