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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Sky Sports Should Sack Caveman Keys

As Sky Sports enter their 20th year of broadcasting Live English football, they invite us to remember all the great moments we've witnessed on their channel over the past decades and see how things have changed in the process.

Now no matter how much things have changed, there has been two constants in the distribution of the 'world's most exciting football league', Richard Keys and Andy Gray. 20 painful years one one with no hair on his head and the other with too much on his hands. Arrggghhhh.

I'm sure that by now you've all heard or read the comments made by Keys and Gray recorded from Sky's live game between Wolves and Liverpool last Saturday, a game in which female linesman, or lineslady if you will, Sian Massey, patrolled one of the touchlines at Molineux.

Not for the first time in Sky Sports history Richard Keys was broadcast live to the nation after believing his equipment was switched off, this time he was heard mocking the female official claiming ladies do not know the offside rule, to which Andy Gray agreed.

'Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.' said Keys, who has had to have rules explained to him on an almost weekly basis.

'Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don't know the offside rule.' Joined in Gray.

Keys followed up with 'Of course they don't. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny will go potty. This isn't the first time, is it? Didn't we have one before?'

Keys then went on to laugh off Karen Brady's claims that she had suffered sexism in football ...... this only a few seconds after proving some sexist neanderthals still exist in football. Not the sharpest tool (I'm sure you know in which context I use the term 'tool') in the box are we Richard?

Andy Gray's involvement, however minimal is disappointing. He's a commentator who I don't often agree with, but his opinions evolve from a life playing football at a high standards, and even though he comes across as dated and archaic from time to time, he does offer decent analysis every now and again.

Richard Keys however is a different story. His sole experience within football is being a Sky Sports presenter for 20 years. That's it, nothing more, no time in the sport, he also appears to have an extremely limited understanding of the game, often mocked by other presenters (I love watching Graeme Souness rip him to shreds), the kind of controversy he was involved with this weekend is common place.

The hairy handed one was first caught out live on air presenting a game between Scotland and the Faroe Islands a few years ago, after introducing the game he made comments that were caught by the cameras before the had chance to cut to the match.

'Nay promos, can't be arsed, that`s it, see ya. Come on. Yeah see ya. Daft little ground, silly game, f*ck off.' sneered Keys.

Sky Sports brushed off the incident claiming Keys was tired and grumpy after coming to the end of a six hour shift. 6 hours? Really? He must have been knackered sitting in a chair for six hours pretending to know something about the game.

He was caught again, this time slagging off our own Theo Walcott as we were dismantled by Barcelona in the second leg of our clash with the Spanish giants last year, mocking 'Get up, you stupid little boy. You've been sh*te, son, in your daft pink boots - absolute rubbish.'

I think it's time for Sky Sports to get rid of this foul mouthed, sexist idiot. Aside from being an offensive chauvinist that is constantly caught swearing on broadcasts that many children watch (including my 3 year old son), his football knowledge is laughable, and he has an ego the size of Andy Gray's massive forehead that is based on absolutely nothing.

We're charged extortionate amounts of money to watch our sport on tv, so let's send Richard Keys back to his family on Wimbledon common and give us a presenter not so obnoxious, offensive to the eyes and actually knows about the sport...... how about Helen Chamberlain? She's got a nice arse!

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 24 2011

Time: 10:12AM

Your Comments

his voice is anoying anyway
is this a woman writing this? stupid article, its only banter and they are good. dont have a clue what your on about and if you dont like it get a season ticket and go and watch your teams matches like the rest of us instead of watching them on the box.
Richard Keys is good? I take it you are Richard Keys then? If you can afford a season ticket to go watch every team broadcast on Sky Sports then you must be one rich man.
Sack Keys and get Ron Burgundy in I say :) Its only banter? Yep the type of banter that can get you sacked at work.
Seeing as Keys and Gray have had to issue a public apology over the incident, claiming you don't know what the article 'is on about' makes you look rather silly avfc. What makes Keys look even more stupid was that he criticised the lino's knowledge of the offside rule over a decision that he got wrong and she got right. Seems like he could learn something about the offside rule from her.
The comments themselves were something and nothing, but we've a shortage of decent officials in this country, and I've no doubt that this lady has been given all sorts of ***** on her way to becoming a PL official, I bet she's worked pretty hard too. This kind of thing will only discourage female officials in the future. And banter, is between two sets of people, not some snot-nosed little turd hiding behind a microphone.
I agree with the writer here but must admit that I think Andy Gray should go first, his bias and general refusal to admit when he is wrong is shocking.
Mikey Delap
I dont care who officiates as long as they are the best that we have avalaible whether they are female/male/cross gender or animal. Having said that we have 2 women who ref in the league i play, and they are really poor on decisions, keepin up with play etc and the games generally end up getting more heated because of this. Personally i like refs who have played football and know whats going on, although realistically no footballers nowadays will want to ref
he has a vaild point about Walcott though!!!
I wondered why that fat odious runt Allardyce was co-comentating on tonights game .... it's because they had to get him in at the last minute.
Why does Allardyce keep showing up on Sky's "expert" panel? How many times do you have to be sacked before you're no longer considered an expert?
Little Dutch
It was interesting listening to Holloway and Allardyce yesterday. Ian was asked about his footballing philosophy and he talked about the need he felt to make football entertaing, after all it's why we watch Then Allardyce started talking about playing against other teams weaknesses, and stopping them from playing. Of course he tried to cover this up by saying he could only play a system that suits the players he has (IE long ball), not think for one second that he bought all the sodding players. Holloway actually looked like his skin was crawl sat next to that fat *********.
Haha! I saw it Rocky, he started off by stuttering like porky pig as well.
Well they've been suspended for tonight so here's hoping. Hopefully Redknapp will talk about something he shouldn't do next, maybe mention his wife's knockers
Look how quickly Coyle has turned Bolton around and made them a decent footballing side to watch. Allardyce is a Penarse
Indeed Iceman - massive jowly chin flapping from side to side as he justified his **** tactics.
avfcwills10, have your HEARD the recording? It was NOT banter-they were clearly expressing things they really believed. They sounded angry even. Oh and btw, you know that sexist macho patriarchal country called Brazil? Well they've had linesWOMEN and an increasing number of women refs for years with very little controversey. Also, Gray & Keys kept their mikes on so it wasn't a private conversation. Anyone who works in broadcasting knows that it you have your mic on anything you say is not private. What a couple of petulant little neanderthals who can't handle seeing a women intrude in their private little boy sandbox. Get the f--k over it, assholes. We're here and we're not going away. Deal with it!
That was disappointing by these two. Its hard enough for women to get into the professional game without chumps like these having a go, no matter whether its good natured banter or not. The fact that she got the call absolutely right heaps even more egg on their faces. And yes, they owe not just her an unreserved apology, but all other women officials in the game. Kick this crap out of football.
Wyn Mills
No idea how Richard Keys got his job in the first place1
I really dont see th issue with having women involved in football on any level be it commentating or officiating. if the job is done to a high standard then good we have had a female ref in the past she was called paul allcock.
I think these views are from yesteryear and have no place in todays game. However its just a "gaffe" at the end of the day and we should all get over ourselves. They didnt know they were being recorded and therefore their views were private views of idiots & private views dont deserve the sack imo. Obama made a gaffe about the disabled last year should he have been forced out of office?
I don't think these comments alone warrent a sacking HY, but Keys has plenty of previous, is an obnoxious litte turd, and let's face it, is rubbish at his job. If that's not reason enough to get of him I don't know what is.
I was listening to Keys' sister on the radio this morning saying how he's 'not that sort of man really'. Her proof? He has 3 sisters. Perhaps they used to slap him around a bit. That would make sense.
Wyn Mills
I'm surprised Keys' sister had time to talk on the radio, what with the dishes and the washing that needed doing.........
Little Dutch
I really don't care if they're sacked or not - and yes they have the right to believe what they want to in private-unfortuantely it was caught on tape-and it is therefore subject to criticism. If you express bigotry publicly you should be prepared to deal with the consequences-which includes criticism and condemnation. And as Gabriel Marcotti tweeted, Keys & Gray a very entrenched in the skysports culture-which sends a message that women are not welcome except for eye candy-and it influences coverage and representation.
You are right Rocky, its not the first time he's been a dick like that. There are several videos on Youtube that show his gaffes. What annoys me the most is when he says the "the game's gone mad". The game has gone mad when you need a penis to run up and down a line. I think Sky have enough grounds to sack him based on this incident alone. They should make an example out of him and show that this kind of thinking is downright stupid and leads to people being denied jobs based on their gender. Sack the *****er, never like him anyways.
Noone hates the frying pan faced furhands more than me, and the pair have now been suspended. Really though in all honesty hands up who here hasn't joked about their missus' parking? Or got together with mates and had a chuckle at the fairer sexes expense? You think it's all sugar and light when women get together for a natter or do you think they rip the crap out of blokes and their perceived uselessness? It's just the way it is and always will be.
Thing is, conversely, if they'd made some daft joke, such as, "put the kettle on love." You could probably dismiss it as banter, bit stupid, but we all say stupid stuff to our friends. Hell, if half the stuff I'd said to my mates was broadcast to the nation I'd be in a funk. But the way they made their remarks had a real air of genuine bitterness. They should both be dumped.
Little Dutch
I should point out I hadn't seen Niko's post when I posted, but it does read like a riposte!
Little Dutch
The world is drowning in frickin people telling other people what to think, and how to behave. Now Keys and Gray have been censored for having an opinion. Excuse me, are we living in North Korea, all of a sudden? So they made some comments that some might not like? So what. It's not like they did it on air. Ultimately, the people who are calling for the sacking are just full of hate for people who are more successful than they are.
Tony Rocky Horror
Freedom of speech doesn't mean you don't have to face the consequences of what you say. If you don't believe me, try calling your parole officer or whoever lets you out on day release that they're a cvnt TRH and see what happens.
Little Dutch
*sigh* niko and TRH, you really don't get it do you? Ordinary people like you and me going about their day chatting to their friends or family and making casual jokes is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT the same thing as wearing a live mic and expressing primitive 1950s bigotry at your workplace while you are working - in your professional persona. niko, you joking about women's parking is simply not in the same category. TRH-wake up. Are you in your workplace allowed to publicly disparage blacks and Jews and say they shouldn't be allowed to work in a particular field because they're just not good enuf at it? To the degree that Gray and Keys did about women? As I said, people should listen to the recording. It's not just banter. If I talked like that, loudly, in front of others, joking, at my job about any religious/racial/ethnic group and--yes, men--I'd be immediately sent to HR to answer for my actions, and would most probably be fired.
The comments are wrong for people in their line of work. But looking at this whole situation another way, Sian Massey has been fast tracked to become a Premier League linesman. Is she that much better than the her colleagues or is it positive discrimination?
Women are always making sexist jokes about men, using language to symbolically castrate them. It cuts both ways, these days. This is about political correctness and the nanny state badgering people about how they should think. Now it's "oh,look at those two old dinosaurs, let's give them a slap on the wrist for having an opinion that doesn't fit in with 'what's acceptable'"! I for one am sick to death of being told what to think, and what I can and cannot say, as if I can't make up my own mind. But here's the point: football fans constantly abuse and berate officials and managers and players on no basis whatsoever other than the fact we don't like them. This woman stepped into the lions' den and therefore was treated accordingly. What next, a man with a clipboard making notes on people in the crowd who said "naughty things". Mind your language? ***** off.
Tony Rocky Horror
TRH - So I've voiced an opinion that you don't like ... so what? It's kinda ironic you championing these pillocks right to say what they like, yet we're somehow in the wrong for having a differing opinion. You either have free speach (for which everyone is to be held accountable) or you don't.
And as for the word ****, I would never use it even if I were addressing someone who I felt totally deserved to wear the insult -LD.
Tony Rocky Horror
Oh believe me I get it, it's two unreconstructed blokes sitting having what they mistakenly thought was a private conversation who obviously feel insecure and threatened about the presence of women in the game, I believe my joking is in a similiar category with the exception that I'm not earning hundreds of thousands a year in a public job. To complain about getting flak is really tantamount to me claiming prejudice for getting turned down for WI membership. It's our one last vestige of escape from the enemy, the ball and chain - you have to understand we aint gonna give it up without a fight. ;) I'm sure in twenty years time we'll be sitting round going "that's bang out of order - you can't slide in on a woman like that!"
I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect your right to express it. That's not how you feel, however. What gives you the right to censor my view? I believe in freedom of speech. You obviously don't. Keys and Gray had a right to say what they did. Once you start putting words into people's mouths you're on very shaky ground.
Tony Rocky Horror
I'm not a fan of freedom of speech for idiots. They should be rounded up and sent to White Hart Lane .... which has been done for a number of years now and is the only reason it's full and they're looking to move to a bigger stadium. Too many idiots talking too much crap.
Then you're a fascist then, are you not?
Tony Rocky Horror
But your first post conveys no such tolerance for others opinions TRH, so you can chuck that shovel away, your digging will do no good here. Gray and Keys said what they said, now they're being criticised for it. Why do you opt to defend one position and not the other?
Little Dutch
Exactly - TRH, I have a right to say what ever it is I want to say, and other people have the right to label me one thing or the other for saying it. Thank you helping me prove my point.
Gray and Keys had a right to say what they did without being disciplined. It's a free country. No-body should have words put into their mouths, or feel they should have to censor what they say.
Tony Rocky Horror
Keys and Grays comments were not mere banter and Gray obviously has a problem with women in football Another thing that *****ed me off was the commentary immediately after the goal and the debate over whether it was offside, the commentator just had to mention the fact that it was a woman that made the decision - why did he even need to bring that up? How on earth could it have affected the decision?
Also can I just say fair play to Rio Ferdinand for speaking out against the comments. You know a lot of players or former players would have jus kept quiet and not spoken against Keys and Gray so it's nice that a high profile player has done just that.
Put words into their mouths? I think you'll find they said what they said of their own accord. Again, Keys and Gray can say what they want, but they have to accept the consequences of their actions. If they have a problem with female linos then why not come out and say something publically instead of sneering and cowaring away like a couple of worms? If they want to have an opinion, then have one properly instead of acting like a couple of school children. Plus I'm not buying into this "free country" malarky, try walking up to a police officer and calling him a ****, see how far that get's you. You are free to do what ever you want to do, but if it gets you into trouble that's your bag .... you were also free not to say anything that could jepordise your livelyhood.
I must come out here and say what an exceptional game Sian Massey had. Not one of her decisions could be questioned. Andy Gray and Richard Keys are cvnts for expressing their opinions in this way
You are free to hold whatever opinions you wish. But if it gets out into the public domain and causes insult or harm then you must accept the consequences. Its that simple, and these two buffoons know it.
Wyn Mills
So does TRH Wyn ..... he's just a massive troll.
My point is that a man shouldn't lose his livelihood because he expressed an opinion; in a private conversation I might add. It's Orwellian. Fire up the hateometer and throw things at the screen because someone (gasp!) had a point of view that the knee-jerking 'moral' (that's a laugh) majority found distasteful.
Tony Rocky Horror
TRH, you have displayed over time that you are an ultra right wing chauvinistic neanderthal whose views have to be endured but cant be accorded any value, forget any respect.
And a woman shouldn't lose her livelihood because two stupid fools couldn't keep their opinions to himself and managed to broadcast them to the nation.
Wyn Mills
Well said Wyn
TRH - If you expressed your opinion that your boss was a **** in a private conversation (at work) that was overheard by said boss, would you expect to keep your job? The thing is, as the article states, it's not this one incident that Keys needs to lose his job for (note I only say Keys and not Gray) it's for a whole host of documented incidents where he has been caught swearing live on tv and being offensive to players, to linesladys, to chairmen of football clubs and to entire countries.
Thank god my days are nearly over. I have survived in a time when we could say some one was acting like an old woman. Or stop crying like a girl. Even behave like a man, and those of you much smarter than I would know many other sayings that were an excepted part of like. Remember the one behave like a tart, yeah only women behave like that or he's just an Dirty Old Man. Nothing I am sure was meant to demean or hurt anyone really. perhaps its a sign we have to watch what we say all the time. What a world we live in. Whats that comment women use (even men use it ) grow some balls. Psst Rocky people have been able to get away with telling a copper to f""k off. Paul_ownz comments were fair but are you now telling me its fair to call male Refs *****ers and more doubts about their ability to ref but dare i say anything about a female ref ability and call her,(dont know what a female is called who plays with herself). God I hate the correct police, lets have a little room where we naughty men can go and say rude things about women; because women never say rude things about men, or do they. The next time my four grown up daughters attempt to tell me i dont know how to dress, or that I am suffering from dementia, or call me a Dirty Old man for saying shes a pretty girl. How dare they how dare they. Sorry Rocky agree the two fellars are turds but this article is a load of boll""""s. Leave these subjects to the moral do gooders, lets talk about football.
The slight difference is though AG, this wasn't really the sort of banter of which you speak. This was very much a, "pffffft, a woman can't do this job."
Little Dutch
AG, we live in a world today where many dote and analyse the words of those spoken in print or broadcast. Fortunetly, or unfortunetly, (whichever way your prefer to look at it) this places rather more emphasis on the requirement for individual responsibility, especially those entrusted with the power of communicating with millions. This isn't about having a laugh in a pub or amongst a bunch of friends. This is public broadcast. These are the opinions of two previously respected presenters who were caught denigrating the ability of women to officiate a game. If the linesman had been black the outcry would have been exactly the same. There's no place for this sort of prejudice in the modern game and you are confusing it with general attitudes towards tolerance in society, which I agree are sometimes over-protective.
Wyn Mills
Having said that I don't necessarily think they should be sacked. It really depends on how they respond and the ethical standards of their employers, Sky.
Wyn Mills
It'll be interesting to see their faces when they return!
AG - I've got no qualms about jokes about womens parking, or doing the dishies or whatever it is women joke about us men about. Jokes are jokes .... if you've listened to the recording you'd know this was something otherwise. It also kinda makes me laugh where people are moaning about a society where we apparently can't say anything, yet these people are whinging about what other people are saying. It's swings and round-a-bouts, if you want to be able to say what you want without consequence then you've got to shut up when other people do the same. Can't have your cake and eat it brother.
Andy Gray's contract terminated. New evidence apparently.
Wyn Mills
As much as his comments weren't good, I always though Gray was a better pundit than most. It would be a travesty if Richard Keys wasn't booted out too, he's just so smarmy Wonder if after a while in the wilderness, Gray will be hired by the BBC or ITV.
Really? There must be something else going on here, out of the two Richard Keys was the worst of the two and has plenty of previous.Sounds like something else is at play. My wife text me earlier and said Andy Burton was involved somehow ... anyone know how? I've never liked that mobile phone weilding *****.
I understand it has something to do with another comment he made to a woman colleague a month ago. This isn't about personal opinions, its about professional behaviour in a working environment. Sian Massey also withdrawn from officiating a game tonight.
Wyn Mills
Who's that Wyn ... Gray or Burton?
Well said alwaysagunner. You have my utmost respect. Let's take back our game. I'm so sick of this "sit down, shut-up, don't express an opinion, do what we say, why are you late for work"? Sheep need a sheepdog to keep them in line, but we happily do it each other. When we go to a football stadium we want to be free of that. We want to behave like men. We're sick of this. We're sick of having our nuts cut-off. Being told it's wrong to like beer, and to find women attractive and, yes, to enjoy a bit of dicey banter as well. If women want to engage with football then fine. But men have a right to behave as the men that they are once every fortnight (or much less) before they head off back to their soul-destroying lives that have been ruined by others who 'knew better'. ***** EM! STAY YOUNG AND INVINCIBLE.
Tony Rocky Horror
Gray. What I've heard is that Gray told a female technician to place a microphone down his trousers. I can honestly laugh at that but its not really acceptable in the workplace is it. Gray has no way of knowing if that will offend his colleague or others around him.
Wyn Mills
TRH, when exactly did your wife start battering you?
Wyn Mills
You know what TRH, I'll agree with that .... but again, this wasn't banter, was Massey given the opportunity to give them some s**t back? No, these were smarmy comments made behind her back. Cowards man .... yes let men behave like men from time to time .... but if this is "manly" behaviour, count me out. It's the behaviour of two sniveling peeping toms, dude.
Here it is on Talk *****e. It was actually a fellow presenter. Have to say Charlotte doesn't look too amused.
Wyn Mills
Charlotte Jackson? She still owes me a prize for winning a competition on "Take it like a fan". I guess getting Andy Gray sacked can be considered a good enough prize.
If you actually look at that footage at 0:04, she's actually smiling at his comment. Strange one. I agree with Rocky; Keys is the one who has to go.
Especially now. Keys has been caught out so many times before (on various issues, swearing live on air, insulting countries etc etc) and brings very little, if anything, in the way of decent football analysis, get rid of the little Womble for all our sakes.
Am I the last woman left on the planet who thinks that banter between the sexes is not a crime? Man says "women don't understand the offside rule." Hardly controversial is it? Not like I haven't heard that before. I think it's right up there with a woman moaning "my husband is useless at picking out material." I mean come on, get a grip. What is said off air should stay off air. I think it is disgraceful that a man has lost his job for acting "blokeish" with his mate in a private conversation. If these women's egos are SO fragile that they can't take it, what on earth on they doing in men's sport? Why don't they work in women's football where they can't get upset by "mean, nasty" men? Come on girls you can't demand equality on one hand and then cry "protect me" on the other. Loose Women is the most sexist thing on TV but because it's aimed at men, that's alright then. So much for democracy. Conversation in Britain is clearly censorable.
Banter is a two way thing Julie, Massey was given no such option to "return fire" as it were. Now haven't you got someone's dishies to wash up? :)
Julie i love you, ( sorry forgot I'm a Dirty Old Man) but thank god there are still real women like you. i would be the first to stand up and attack any man who commits any real sexual act against a women just like I would against a child. But how many women and men laugh at all kinds of smutty remarks made on most show. It used to be not acceptable for women to swear but having spent a few summers in my later days cleaning schools I can assure you some of the words used on the toilet walls in the girls area make even me an ex soldier blush. And Rocky as for washing up dishes I now have to do the bloody things.
Lets have this right, something stinks, sky obviously wanted Gray and possibly furryhands out here, an off air recording doesn't suddenly get released without skys permission, then hot on the trail of it are further earlier recordings? I'm sorry but sky wanted him out without having to pay for terminating his contract it's pretty apparant. I've no problem with either of these tossers losing their jobs as it's no loss for football coverage but skys' blatant underhand sneakiness turns my stomach somewhat.
Gray is in the middle of taking the News of the world to court for phone tapping, News of the world owned by Rupert Murdoch, SKY owned by Rupert Murdoch.......
Yep, well that'll do it, case closed.
Forgot about the News of the World thing with Gray. It does shed a slightly different light on his sacking.
Wyn Mills
Why the flick hasn't Keys been sacked yet? Grays was a decent pundit even though he said some stupid stuff sometimes, but don't give me any of that "a man has lost his job" crap, you're not going to get any sympathy from me. These guys earn a ridiculous sum of money, I'll feel sorry for Callum down the street who's been made redundant from his minimum wage job, not these overpaid neanderthals.
Didn't know about the New of the World thing. Explains why he got the boot and Keys didn't. Still doesn't mean it wasn't valid though. Bunch of dirt bags all round really. Fortunately for me, my lack of ethics means I'll watch anything to get my football fix.
I'm in complete agreement with Niko, this sacking has the square root of ***** all to do with sexism or equal opportunity. I accept arguments about banter, but if you listen to the recording, this isn't really banter. The comments were made with apparent bile ("the game's gone mad"). Like I said earlier in the thread, if they'd have said something like "put the kettle on love" that could clearly be dismissed as a joke. In any case, I think the debate has become ultimately worthless now, Sky have played everyone like a church organ, tickled the ivories and watched us all chime. This was all about getting rid of Gray and nowt to do with any debate on sexism.
Little Dutch
Rocky, I'm astonished at you. Since when was the VALUE of an apology not enough? Andy Gray must have a strong case for unfair dismissal. I thought theere was supposed to be a PROCESS for discipline of staff in the workplace. Summary execution is what he got and nothing less. And someone clearly had a hidden agenda. I can more easily forgive a couple of blokes laughing and joking like a couple of overgrown schoolboys than the sneaky little SNITCH/SNITCHES who gathered this material on the QT and used it to bring both presenters down. And now instead of hearing decent analysis, I have to look at and listen to Jamie Redknapp and Sam Allardyce. Thank you very much indeed. You talk of Sian Massey. But do you think this treatment of AG and RK will do her or other women in men's football any favours? No. It will only breed resentment at the enforcement. And I would wager she agrees with me. The reaction in the media has been simply unbelievable. And Charlotte Jackson, who had no qualms about appearing in lingerie and bikini clad photoshoots has no right to be so po-faced either. I said it before and I'll say it again (and this goes right back to the playground), if females want to mix in completely with the males, they have to accept a bit of rough and tumble. The Loose Women can get away with jokes about Male Midwives and the only good men being dead ones but nobody gives two hoots about that. The hypocrisy is disgraceful. And to those of my gender who want to cut men off at the "balls" entirely- count me out. I'd rather retain my sense of humour and perspective. Some of can still tell the difference between actual harassment and banter. And I readily admit to not fully understanding the Offside Rule- only the bit releasing the ball in the opposition half with two defending players being goalside of the ball. I think.
Julie, did Gray apologise? Not aware of it if he did. And it's not an apology for having certain opinions about women officials, more about his carelessness getting those opinions on air. Interesting however that the new chant at football grounds these days when an incorrect off-side decision is called seems to be "There's only one Sian Massey". That, to me, is the sound of progress.
Wyn Mills
Wyn you are a lovely lad(sorry if your a Shelia); but jlh4e is dead right mate. Anyway think this lass would be the one I would go for.
AG, no problems. I'm a Bruce. Regardless of how underhand Sky have been in forcing Gray out (and we have no idea yet exactly what procedures have been followed) I suspect most employers would have taken issue with the sort of behaviour displayed by Gray towards Charlotte Jackson. I'm all for having a laugh and a certain degree of tolerance, but I wouldn't really support that sort of behaviour in the workplace. Fine in the pub but I would expect more professionalism from my employees. Gray's misfortune was that it was taped, and for that he should apologise unreservedly. Whether he deserved the sack or just a stern warning is another matter.
Wyn Mills
Wyn, they both phoned Sian Massey on Sunday to apologise, which she generously accepted. Attempted to phone Karren Brady but she spitefully refused to accept the call. After having done that, that asked Sky if they could go public with an apology and reveal that they they had phoned Sian Massey. Sky told them no and said to keep quiet. Then they booted AG out on his ear. Make of that what you will. Hidden agenda? Definitely.
There are certainly hidden agendas at work here and Gray will have a good case because he was summarily dismissed without an investigation. I've seen it suggested that Keys could go for constructive dismissal, but he'd have no chance because his employer didn't breach any Ts and Cs as fas as I can see. On a side note, I love the way the Daily Mail illustrated two of their stories about how disgraceful this sexism was with pictures of i) Sian Massey in a bikini on holiday and b) Charlotte Jackson in her undercrackers. Idiots. You're definitely right Julie that this will do Massey no favours and the way this has snowballed astonishingly during the week has become a tad ridiculous now and puts me in mind of the whole Brand Ross affair. Really, this story should have died a death ages ago but the media take these sorts of things and beats us all over the head with them. What was a talking point on Sunday is, on Thursday, a front page issue.
Little Dutch
Also, I do understand assertions that this is PC gone mad and thought policing. But, people may tut at political correctness but it has its uses. If this educates people and makes them think that these views are indeed unacceptable, then society in general tends to move on from them. I've spoken to people who have admitted at lobbing bananas at black players in the 70s, but claiming that they just regarded it as a bit of fun and good banter. People who spoke out about such behaviour in the 70s were often met with "oh, it's only a laugh", but momentum gathered on the subject to the point that everyone now knows that that behaviour is unacceptable. Granted that this whole Keys Gray issue feels like a right old storm in a teacup now, but long term it will probably reap its benefits if such views are held up in ridicule.
Little Dutch
Sorry but I'm not going to absolve Gray by diverting blame to Sky or the media. We know what they are like. As far as I'm concerned he has been hoist by his own petard. What may seem a laugh to some isn't necessarily as funny to others - LD's example of banana throwing in the 70's being a case in point. I wonder how many black players were put off getting into the game because of those actions. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for banter amongst races and sexes, but we have to show some judgement about the environment in which it’s done. There have been too many idiotic cases of racial and sexual harassment in the workplace for people to just ignore the rules and play the 'it was only a bit of harmless banter' card. Unless you are intimate drinking buddies with your work colleagues you have no way of knowing what will titillate or offend. Every individual is different, but when it comes down to a question of professionalism its perhaps natural that tolerance levels shrink. Some, like Massey, may be able to shrug this sort of thing off. With others, like Karen Brady, it will have a far greater resonance and impact, probably negative. At some point people will then stop laughing and realise how much damage a misplaced comment has made.
Wyn Mills

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