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Tackling sports media’s major issue

TIMES ARE CHANGING: YouTuber Poet, of Copa90, is one of the creators who demonstrate that traditional media outlets are not the only platforms to shine on – or own

WHEN A World Cup, Olympics or Premier League season comes to an end, my social media timelines quickly remind me that the diversity of the athletes we see on the pitch, court and tracks is far from represented by those telling and sharing their stories across the globe.

The sports media has a major issue. Away from Olympic gold medal-winning or former International footballer pundits there is very little diversity to be found. And trust me, I’ve been looking.

Don’t believe me? Well, check out the crew pictures the superstar pundits posted this summer. These images represent the true picture of the sports media. If you are a young black man or woman, without a medal or 500 appearances at the top level, you could be forgiven for wondering what hope you had in an industry totally unreflective of British society, let alone many national sports.

But I founded BCOMS (the Black Collective of Media in Sport) to draw a line under the doom and gloom. We cannot allow any more generations of talented diverse people to be lost to a profession that can be so rewarding. And things are changing…the black community does have representation in the sports media.

Stephen Lyle is the head of sport for Channel 4 and Louise Sutton is the boss of BBC Sport’s Final Score programme, while YouTubers Poet, of Copa90, and Robbie Lyle, the creator of Arsenal Fan TV, have shown us traditional media outlets are not the only platforms to shine on – or own.

The D Word 3 conference on diversity in the sports media will present a unique and unrivalled opportunity to share ideas on improving the industry and network with senior decision makers who can help you get a foot in the door and up the ladder.

It is designed to help change the demographics of the sports media - and progress will be easy to assess… just keep an eye on the pictures popping up on your timelines in years to come.

The D Word 3 conference is part of the 2018 #FootballPeople action weeks which take place between October 11-25. For more details and to register to attend, visit www.bcoms.co

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