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The Vote

Should Andy Gray be sacked for being offside?

Published on January 24th 2011.

The Vote

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 in dull clichés 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 the official whingers come from spokespeople of groups and organisations, no doubt mostly publically funded, 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. Thought police or what?

Their ‘sin’ was banter pure and simple. The comments weren’t even personally offensive to Massey.

When I listen to the offended on the radio, I’m reminded of those hideous nineteenth century missionaries to the poor giving out Bibles in slum-areas and telling people that they really ought to reform themselves. In other words live exactly as they did. 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?

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 they 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 as to regulate private thought then we’re in trouble. And it seems that plenty of people want to go down that authoritarian, oppressive route.

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