Football is a sport dominated by men and so the pervasive culture of the game is male-oriented. It is usually just sexist, but at worst, just plain misogynistic. So it’s no surprise to hear the off-air comments by Sky pundits Richard Keys and Andy Gray where they complain about a female assistant referee officiating a game.
It might be true that sexism is still part of football culture, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to judge professionals on the basis of gender alone. As many other pundits have found, comments about race lead to certain sacking – who knows if Sky will judge these comments as strongly?
Can someone tell me the difference?
They deserve to be fired just for perpetuating these stereotypically macho views in the public domain – even if they did not expect their comments to be broadcast.
If those who lead the game can’t even deal with sexism then how will they ever deal with the endless racism and homophobia that continues to blight the game. Come on Sky, give them the boot. This is the 21st Century, we don’t need these ‘Gene Hunt’-era “experts” on TV…
Richard Keys: Well, somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.
Andy Gray: Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Female linesman. Forget what I said – they probably don’t know the offside rule.
RK: Course they don’t.
AG: Why is there a female linesman? Somebody’s fucked up big.
RK: I can guarantee you there’ll be a big one today. Kenny [Dalglish, Liverpool’s manager] will go potty. This is not the first time. Didn’t we have one before?
RK: Wendy Toms.
AG: Wendy Toms, something like that. She was fucking hopeless as well.
RK: [exasperated groan]