Premier League - Sky drops presenters over sexism storm
Mon, 24 Jan 14:42:00 2011
Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys have been dropped for tonight’s match between Chelsea and Bolton for sexist comments made about a lineswoman.
The pair had been chatting while working on the channel's coverage of Liverpool's Premier League victory against Wolves at Molineux, but their microphones were still on and the comments were picked up and later passed on to the media.
"I have spoken directly to both Richard Keys and Andy Gray this morning," Sky Sports boss Barney Francis said. "It has been made clear to each of them that their comments were totally unacceptable.
"Those views are inexcusable, entirely inconsistent with our ethos as a business and employer, and will rightly offend many of our customers, our people, and the wider public.
"They are inexcusable from anyone at Sky, regardless of their role or seniority.
"We have dealt with this matter by taking immediate disciplinary action. As with any employee it would not be right to go into detail on those proceedings.
"However, they have been clearly warned about their behaviour and reminded of their responsibilities.
"In addition, Richard and Andy will not be involved in any way with tonight’s live Monday Night Football."
The comments, which were at the expense of female lineswoman Sian Massey, implied that women could not understand the offside rule.
In the first half of the game - Massey's second game in the Premier League - there was a close call to officiate as Fernando Torres of Liverpool struck the opening goal.
But replays showed that her decision to rule Torres onside and allow the goal to stand was the correct one. Liverpool went on to win the fixture 3-0.
"Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her," Keys was reported as saying on the leaked tape.
Gray replied: "Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule."
"Course they don’t," Keys replied. “I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny (Dalglish) will go potty. This isn’t the first time, is it? Didn’t we have one before? Wendy Toms?"
In reference to Toms, the first female referee's assistant to officiate in the Premier League, Gray opined: “she was f***ing hopeless as well."
Highlights: Wolves 0-3 Liverpool