Watching the Olympics with my mother-in-law in the room is an exercise in patience.
Every time the camera focuses on a black athlete she feels compelled to point out that he or she is black. She doesn't do this with other people; in those cases she looks to see which country they represent and mentions their nationality.
I don't believe her observations are intentionally racist, I think she's just interested but doesn't know the best way to express it. Her generation was raised on nicknames for foreigners, much as North American immigrants behaved at the beginning of the 20th century.
Racism only applies when an attitude of superiority or dislike is intoned in the words, and I'm not getting that vibe from her at all.
Besides, it's not the first time I've run across this problem.