Soccer So White? BBC Complains No Minority Players on Pitch for English Women’s Football Team

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Beth Mead of England celebrates after scoring her sides 5th g
Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The supposedly impartial BBC has come under fire after a sports presenter criticised England’s women’s football team for being too white.

In a broadcast covering the UEFA European Women’s Football Championship, BBC sports presenter commented on Monday’s victory for England over Norway by denouncing the Lionesses for not being diverse enough.

Bardour, a white woman herself, said on Tuesday evening: “An historic eight-goal victory for England last night as the lionesses secured their place in the quarter-finals but all starting 11 players and the five substitutes that came on to the pitch were all white and that does point towards a lack of diversity in the women’s game.”

While they did not play on Monday, there are currently three women on the England team with a minority background, including Jess Carter, Demi Stokes, and Nikita Parris. When looking at the 23-player roster, this represents 13 per cent, which almost exactly mirrors the general demographics of the UK in the last census, with 87 per cent of the population being classified as White British.

The comments from the BBC presenter sparked considerable backlash on social media, with former Labour Party MP Kate Hoey saying: “When we had an all-black men’s team in some athletics events did the BBC draw attention to that. Of course not. This is pathetic sports reporting.”

Brexit campaigner turned GB News presenter Daren Grimes said: The BBC are obsessed. What’s so wrong with the Lionesses being white? Is the suggestion here that black players are being unfairly discriminated against? If so, does the BBC have any evidence for this claim? It’s the constant race-baiting that baffles me.”

Grimes went on to point out that the top earners at the BBC in terms of salaries were all white themselves.

Reclaim Party leader and anti-woke campaigner Laurence Fox joked: “We are staring down the barrel of a serious problem with diversity, equity and inclusion in female football. All ball chasers with a cervix should be on 200k a week. Whether they have penises or not.”

However, the public broadcaster does have a long history of hiring based on race for less senior positions, including last year when a trainee position was advertised as being “only open to black, Asian and ethnically diverse candidates.”

The BBC’s Diversity And Inclusion Plan for 2021-23 has also openly called for the implementation of race and gender quotas, gaming for women to make up 50 per cent of the workforce, 20 per cent for black and other minorities and 12 per cent for disabled people.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.