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.

Creating space: How (and why) BBC Sport turned to virtual reality for its  football studio refresh

About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother who had dementia, hence the lack of acting work but shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
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  1. SueW says:

    I’m with you, Joe.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that the BBC has gone absolutely bonkers!
    Using a colour to make a point has nothing to do with skin colour, but the BBC has chosen to make it so. The advisor of the PC office needs booting out with a shiny black boot.

  2. Beware the thought police Joe. You may be incarcerated for having no time for football. You and me both!

  3. Ian Hutson says:

    I am highly offended that you are highly offended by the BBC’s rather highly offensive attempts to subvert the natural process of taking high offence. Were I not an Englishman too busy with suing the Italians for compensation for my ancestors having been held as slaves by the Romans I might consider some form of anti-trauma therapy.

    Once upon a time I rather foolishly suggested that we do away with potentially offensive words – all of them, every word ever coined – and use only the sound “ug” in future, but this of course, upon reflection, was highly offensive to the memory of proto-humans and their descendants.

    Then I thought perhaps that silence might be [what used to be described by the offensive word ‘golden’] but, of course, silence we are told is evidence of complicity in the matter of omni-offensive.

    The problem is beyond me. Unless of course, the species could continue to interact using only the words ‘ban’ and ‘offence’…

  4. I think it is best I cut out my tongue soon.

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