Sunday, 13 June 2010

Are We Seeing Tokenism On The TV Pundit Panels?

I know I am opening myself up to allegations of racism here from my detractors, but this is a genuine question. At first I thought Marcel Desailly was on the ITV panel because he is a regular pundit of theirs, but it has suddenly dawned on me that EVERY expert panel so far has had a black pundit.

Now that may be fair enough, given we are in Africa, but I struggled to understand Adebeyor when he was talking and none of the "African experts" so far have had anything too enlightening to say. Indeed Lineker has twice said, outright, that England are being tipped by these guys because they want to stay on the good side of the English viewing public (I use the term "these guys" because I can't remember the names of the two panelists concerned!).

Personally, I have a lot of time for Robbie Earle and would be happy for him to be on every ITV panel. The guy knows the game and has a voice that is easy on the ear - two essential qualities in my book to be a TV pundit. The fact that he is black is, in my view, utterly irrelevant. However, the colour of a guy's skin does seem to be a deciding factor in employing him as a pundit in the Rainbow Nation of South Africa. Is this at the insistence of the South African authorities or FIFA or is it self imposed by broadcasting companies anxious to appear politically correct? Should the colour of a guy's skin be a factor in employing him, or is this a form of tokenism which is, in itself, essentially racist?


Stani Army said...

Hmmm, not sure. I think if they use the argument that they wanted a cultural mix amongst the pundits then that would be justifiable. Because people from different cultures bring different ways of looking at things. It just happens to be that they're in Africa so that would mean people of African origin. BBC did have that Soufrican rugby player on though and he was white.

In defence of ITV, the Earle of Robbie and Desailly have worked for them for a while now.

Adebayor has made some good points (Argentina game) yet he speaks very fast.

But you are right, if this tokenism does exist then it is racist.

Hammersfan said...

Look at Edgar Davids tonight. Wouldn't even play the game of admitting to hating Germans! Chiles did his best to conjure something interesting from Davids and Vierra but it was down to Keegan to give us anything bordering on informed opinion.

hammalot said...

but Earl is a Jamaican???

Stani Army said...

Yes mate, but of African origin. He is a regular on ITV though so I don't think he really falls under the point HF was making.

Anonymous said...

Apparently we're all of African origin and Robbie Earl doesn't sound very African to me.... how far we going back 200, 500 or 1000 years?