Monday, January 24, 2011

Why do Sky Sports Sexists still have jobs?

If Richard Keys and Andy Gray, the Sky Sports commentators who made some appallingly sexist comments when they thought they were off air had slated a referee on the basis of their race, they would have been out of a job before the match had finished.

Why, then,are they still employed by Rupert Murdoch's empire? Referees and sports officials take all sorts of flack, much of it justified, but to suggest that someone is incapable of acting as a linesman because she is a woman is ridiculous.

Have a listen to what they actually said, which is posted on You Tube here.

Karren Brady, West Ham's Vice Chairman, said in the Sun last week that:
However, over the past few weeks for the first time in my life I am experiencing sexism at its rankest, lies about my personal life and a level of calculated mischief that is simply appalling.
Keys and Gray dismissed that with a "Do us a favour, love".

If commentators can't moderate their language and behaviour at all times when they're in the vicinity of a microphone, they should pay the consequences.

If Sky let this pair keep their jobs, they are as good as saying that their comments were acceptable. There are some times when a hastily thrown together apology just won't do. As I write this, I learn from the BBC that they're not going to be commentating tonight so let's hope that Sky are reconsidering their future.

Update: Well, at least one of them doesn't after the BBC fired Andy Gray today. My biggest shock was finding out he earned nearly £2 million! For watching football and telling us who's kicking the ball! Ridiculous!


KelvinKid said...

If this is the game that was on MOTD on Saturday, the replay showed that the female linesman got it right!

It should be no surprise that this pair of chumps are sexist.

Keep Scotland in the Union said...

The context of the comment was made in the form of banter and in my view acceptable. I dont hear women getting accused of sexism when I get 'banter' for undertaking things such as doing the house work or the ironing

The comments could equally apply to male referee's who in some instances dont understand the off side rule.

Political correctness gone mad.

The solution is simply to let messers Gray and Keys apologise to the assistant; then lets draw a line under and move on.

Unknown said...

Sorry, KSU, no way.

You know fine that if they'd made racist comments, they'd have been fired. Why should they get away with this?

From the second they stepped into that commentary box, everything they said was representing their employers. If Sky don't sack them, they are condoning their sexist attitudes, which have no place in this day and age.

If you listen to the comment, they said clearly that they were slating her simply because she was female. That's just not on.

Radar said...

This is a question I have been asking myself too Caron. It shouldn't be tollerated.

Was pleasing that there was a "big one" and Sian Massey got it spot on to show that she warrents the appointment.

Keith Legg said...

Caron, the obvious comparison is with Ron Atkinson's rascist comments about Marcel Desailly in a similar situation when working for ITV - comments recorded when not broadcasting, and led directly to him being fired.

I don't agree with KSU in that the comments don't appear to have been made in jest (especially Keys' tone when talking about Karren Brady.) The ability of someone to identify offside is often used by football fans as decrying someone's knowledge of the game, so could have been used inoffensively, but I think the tone of voice of both Keys and Gray doesn't suggest humour.

Unlike ITV with Atkinson, though, I don't think Sky will sack them. Both are an absolutely key part of Sky's football coverage, with Gray in particular synonymous with it. I wouldn't expect to see them on TV for a while though!

Radar said...

It's quite clear Gray's comments weren't in jest (unless it was a running joke he had in his head all day) he was caught at it earlier in the day:

Keir said...

Some good comments here. But what a way to end a two-decade long spell; being sacked for speaking privately and unaired to someone else. Talk about loyalty. This reminds me of Sir Paul McCartney being criticised for setting a bad example to the youth of Earth for using drugs- "it's not me telling people what I do; it's you [the media] spreading it across the papers."

Chris Taus said...

No offence with all the no one is superior to anyone, I 100% agree with you with everything you say, but what does this have to with white and blacks, if you have a problem with that, go to a forum that writes about that, this has nothing to do with this, stay topic related, sad to see Anny Gray go, but it was stupid of him


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