The observant amongst you may have noticed that a female human being by the name of Sian Massey ran the line during Saturday’s Premier League tie between Wolves and Liverpool which, in these enlightened times, is about as controversial denouncing the evils of asbestos.
That said, it seems oafish Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray (who have previous when it comes to casual sexism) haven’t quite come to terms with the fairer sex polluting the highways and byways of their beloved game.
Believing their microphones to be off, Keys and Gray shared the following manly exchange before the game:
Keys: “Somebody better get down there and explain offside to [Massey].”
Gray: “Yeah, can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule.”
Keys: “Course they don’t. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny (Liverpool manager, Dalglish) will go potty. This isn’t the first time, is it? Didn’t we have one before?
Gray: “Wendy Toms, or something like that. She was f**king hopeless as well.”
Keys: “The game’s gone mad. Did you hear charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Do me a favour, love.”
Oh, the delicious irony! Such raconteurs, such bon vivants!
Ever the light-hearted punsmith, Kenny Dalglish himself (who’s daughter Kelly currently works alongside Keys and Gray) opened his obligatory morning press conference by asking Sky Sports correspondent Vinny O’Connor if he was comfortable having women in the room.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it just so happens that several million people have now been privy to the pair’s Cro-Magnon repartee – with Sky forced to issue a quick, though decidedly vague, apology for their two anchors’ (say it fast enough and you’ll get the jist) conduct:
“The comments reported today are not acceptable. They were not made on air, but we have spoken to Richard and Andy and told them our views and they have apologised and expressed their regret.”
Word filtering through is that both men have now been suspended by Sky for an indeterminate period (believed to be just one match), though the initial reports are as yet unconfirmed.
UPDATE: Sky have now confirmed that both Keys and Gray have been dropped from their Monday Night Football (Bolton vs. Chelsea) broadcast tonight, with the corporation’s managing director Barney Francis issuing a statement in which he deplored both mens’ actions as ‘totally unacceptable’, ‘inexcusable’, and ‘entirely inconsistent’ with Sky’s business ethos.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like a blanket media ban for both of the tossers involved will be forthcoming any time soon.