WHEN it came to the most important offside decision of Liverpool’s win over Wolves, Sian Massey got it right – despite the jibes of presenters Gray and Keys.
Now Sky Sports has done the right thing in suspending Keys and Gray – but bosses ought to go further and sack them.
Their remarks, such as “women don’t know the offside rule”, are outdated, ignorant and out of place in this era. Elite football has grown female support for the game, but it hasn’t been so welcoming of their presence in the boardroom and on the touchline.
At my son’s school, girls show every bit as much skill as boys and there’s every reason to think ladies can play the game or run the line at a professional level.
As for the offside rule, it has changed so often that many football loving males are no longer clear about its nuances.
Keys and Gray thought Massey wouldn’t know the rules either, because she was a woman. She proved them wrong. But even if she hadn’t, their jokes at her expense should not be tolerated.
IF you sacked all men who make crude, offensive and downright stupid comments off the record about women, you’d have a big job and – unfortunately – a big hole in the economy.
The solution is not to sack Keys and Gray for talking among themselves. It is to force, if teaching won’t do the job, society’s sexist relics to get over the fact women are not stupider nor less capable than them. Not because we care what they think; so they don’t stand in our way. To do this we must encourage more Hilary Clintons, Condoleezza Rices, Karren Bradys and Sian Masseys. Shun housewifery and get out there ladies: the fight’s not over.
Football is one of the last places men can be relatively free of women and as atavistic as they want. Massey and Brady aren’t enough: there are far too few women in the game for their presence to be normal. Until it is – or until the Grays and Keys of the world get new brains – there are deeper feminist issues to address than predictable comments about chicks in football.
NOT CRICKET | PUNDITS’ FAUXS PAS
Alan Pardew: Reviewing an incident of Michael Essien tackling Ched Evans on Match of the Day 2 in 2009, the then-Southampton manager said the Chelsea midfielder had “absolutely raped” his opponent. He wasn’t asked back.
Dean Jones: The former Aussie Test opener was sacked by Ten Sports after he was caught on air saying “the terrorist has got another wicket” in response to devout Muslim, Hashim Amla, taking a catch against Sri Lanka.
Rodney Marsh: Just two months after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed over 200,000 people, Sky pundit Marsh was sacked after he joked that David Beckham had turned down a move to Newcastle after hearing about trouble with “the Toon Army in Asia”.
Ron Atkinson: Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly was termed a “****ing lazy thick n****” by the ITV co-commentator, who promptly lost his job and newspaper column.