CBS announcer apologizes after blaming red card on 'Latino temperament'

PSG's Angel Di Maria did something undeniably stupid in the second half of his team's Champions League semifinal second leg on Tuesday. He stamped on Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho, and earned a straight red card.

¡Di María perdió la cabeza! Se volvió loco y se va del partido?

??????? Manchester City (4) 2- 0 (1) ?? PSG #TuChampions | #UCL | #ChampionsLeague

? ¡En vivo!
? @TUDNUSA y @Univision
? ?

— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) May 4, 2021

But in the aftermath, CBS color commentator Jim Beglin did something undeniably stupid in its own right.

"It's that Latino temperament," Beglin said, as Di Maria, an Argentine midfielder, walked off the field.

Indeed he did

— Coreyzinho (@coreyzinho) May 4, 2021

Around 10 minutes later, Beglin referenced the comment, and offered an apology – which fell flat, because he seemed to misunderstand what he was apologizing for.

“When Di Maria was sent off, I said – or I described it by using the word 'Latino,' " Beglin said on air during live action. "For anybody that’s taken offense to that, I do apologize – sincerely apologize.”

Comments like Beglin's perpetuate stereotypes

The problem, though, isn't that Beglin "used the word Latino." There's nothing offensive about it on its own. The problem is that he ascribed Di Maria's temperament to his ethnicity.

In doing so, he perpetuated a racist stereotype. There are thousands of Latino soccer players, of course, who do not have a bad temper, and there are thousands of non-Latino players – including a few in Tuesday's game – who do have a bad temper. But would Beglin, who is British, ascribe a British player's red card to "British temperament"? When, for example, Man City fullback Oleksandr Zinchenko angrily erupted in the same game, did Beglin describe it as "Ukrainian fury"?

Of course not.

Studies have shown that soccer commentary is full of implicit bias. It's based on ill-informed stereotypes and it reinforces them.

Beglin seemed contrite, but he also didn't quite seem to understand what he'd done wrong, which shows how ingrained this problem is, and how much progress the industry still has to make.

Man City won the game comfortably after Di Maria's red card, and advanced to the Champions League final, where it'll play either Chelsea or Real Madrid.

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