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Andy Gray: sacked for sexism?

Charlie Butterworth speaks out about Gray and Keys? Was it right to record a private, off-air, conversation?

Published on January 25th 2011.

Andy Gray: sacked for sexism?

Andy Gray has now been sacked following his comments. Do you agree with this? Even if, for you, his comments were objectionable or acceptable the question posed in the article still stands. Should a sneakily recorded conversation have led to his dismissal?

Andy Gray and Richard Keys made jokes about Sian Massey, a woman linesman (aka assistant referee) not being able to understand the offside rule on Sky Sports over the weekend.

They did it in the tired formulaic way men speak about ‘women drivers’.

And women talk about ‘man flu’.

Some people want Keys and Gray hanged for sexism. Or rather fired. And then hanged.

Society’s official whingers have decided to jump on the bandwagon of comment and hijack it. Mostly these represent spokespeople of publicly funded groups and organisations, who are appalled about a couple of silly old buggers having a bit of banter. They are annoyed because they get paid to be annoyed.

But come on.

Gray and Keys are old school at best. In fact the whole of football is old school. But better that we allow them the odd daft moment rather than we monitor private conversations and broadcast them, as happened here - something akin to the phone tapping scandal submerging the News of the World.

Massey answered the old buffers in the best way possible by performing her duties perfectly. Maybe she should be given a match to referee rather than run the line. That would show Gray and Keys and then subject her to one of last legally allowable areas of discrimination: that of fans and pundits against referees.

You have to also wonder how perfect the Gray and Keys complainers are?

Do the men who have publically worried about Gray and Keys always have pure thoughts? Do they never see a pretty woman and judge her first by her body, do they never do the ‘women driver’ reaction when a woman pulls out in front of them?

And do the women who’ve complained, never speak out of turn, never generalise about men being oafs and idiots, never repeat in their head generalised clichés about ‘multi-tasking’?

Have these pure of thought people never said anything to friends which if it had been sneakily recorded and broadcast they would have regretted?

We have a public life and private one. Legislation is there to protect relations between individuals in the public sphere, if it is used to regulate private thought then we’re in trouble. Or used to monitor every type of private utterance then we are going down an authoritarian and an oppressive route. Now that would be offside.

What Gray and Keys said was wrong but they are the dinosaurs and Massey is the future. At a recent game in which she was officiating she was subject to fan chants of 'Put the kettle on'. That behaviour is boorish, pub banter of the type Gray and Keys came up with. Dull, but not vicious, almost done as male default stupidity. We can't prosecute all those suspected of suspect pub chatter or dubious thoughts. There'd be no end to it.

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Eddy CappJanuary 24th 2011.

This Sian Massey poppet might be better off if she made a bit more of an effort with her looks. She could have at least put a bit of make up on for her telly appearance and her outfit does nothing to show off her figure.

ADJanuary 24th 2011.

I think Sian Massey must have worked very hard for quite a long time to get to run the line in the premiership and so to say she doesnt know the offside rule on account of her being a woman most likely is personaly offensive. If they were her employers she would be entitled to take them to a tribunal for sex discrimination (and she'd win). This may not be a hanging or a firing offence but lets not pretend its acceptable banter, what they were saying was ignorant and should be recognised as such.

Arran SummerhillJanuary 24th 2011.

Women liners....What next? monkey Tennis?

Anon TooJanuary 24th 2011.

I imagine if the private comments of Gray and Keys were heard every week, every ref in the Premiership would be suing for libel.

pointyJanuary 24th 2011.


pointyJanuary 24th 2011.

andy gray is a fantastic pundit.lets not over react about this . it was a joke. its time we learnt to laugh at ourselves. honestly,its no big deal

A football fanJanuary 24th 2011.

Has this woman come forward and demonstrated a commanding knowledge of the off side rule? Because I find this whole argument pretty pointless unless she has.

Piers MorganJanuary 24th 2011.

Why isn't she at home baking, with a bairn at her teat?

ThistleJanuary 25th 2011.

Jeez what about Loose Women...talk about talking about generalisations

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2011.

You could have worded the vote better - Is a yes vote saying Charlie butterworth is correct in his views or that he's out of touch???

EARL OF DIDSBURYJanuary 25th 2011.

These socialist/liberal "thought police" have been spured on by the last governments policies and even legislation on some areas like religion , these are two silly old fools having some banter just like the silly old misinfomred loose women that pollute stereotypes of men every lunchtime on daytime tv, saying that i think women in any part of a mans game on the football field is asking for trouble and visa versa too.

Kaye SharplesJanuary 25th 2011.

Yawn Yawn - Bored of this now!!

J E SibberingJanuary 26th 2011.

Why do you keep changing the question that people have voted on?

humpty@mail.comJanuary 26th 2011.

A bit of harmless fun with no ill intent. What has this world come to ? Some people must live in a bubble.

DUKE OF CAPSLOCKJanuary 28th 2011.

Haha, does this site automatically change the spoof name of any right wing (maybe anti-left is a better description) comments to EARL OF DIDSBURY?

Mike ProctorJanuary 28th 2011.

They are idiots.However I find it worrying that private conversations are being policed in this way.

Big pictureJanuary 28th 2011.

look guy, it's not about the comments, in private these occur all the time (from both sexes). SKY HAD TO FIND A REASON TO SACK TWO OVERPAID EMPLOYEES, that's why they are gone, like J Ross sometime ago, remember him?

Old dufferJanuary 28th 2011.

Andy Gray wasn't sacked for his comments, but because footage emerged afterwards of him making ignorant and offensive gestures to female colleagues. Good riddance, the world has moved on from such brainless crap.

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