Andy Gray And Richard Keys Suspended By Sky Over Sexist Banter

Ollie Irish

24th, January 2011


By Ollie Irish

Keys: “Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.”
Gray: “Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule.”
Keys: “’Course they don’t. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny [Dalglish] will go potty. This is not the first time, is it? Didn’t we have one before?”
Keys: “The game’s gone mad. Did you hear charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Do me a favour love.”

What a joke that the repulsive Keys should engage in ugly sexist banter with his equally repulsive colleague towards a female assistant referee (Sian Massey, running the line for Wolves v Liverpool on Saturday), then take Brady to task for calling out sexists in the workplace. I suppose Keys’ brain is so overflowing with Sky Sports bullshit to realise the brilliant irony of his remarks. And Keys’ final flourish, “Do me a favour love”, reeks of all those sub-Alan Partridge, country club chauvinists who dress like Jeremy Clarkson and litter the outside lanes of the M25 in their BMWs, Mercs and ‘Lexi’. “Bloody women drivers.”

Or perhaps Keys knew he was being ironic. But I doubt he’s that self-aware.

Keys and Gray have apologised for their remarks – sort of. A spokesman for Sky Sports said: “The comments reported today are not acceptable.

“They were not made on air [that’s OK then!] but we have spoken to Richard and Andy and told them our views and they have apologised and expressed their regret.”

Not much of an apology – yeah, you can trust us, they said sorry. How about the pair come out and apologise in public to Massey?

And whilst I don’t believe, as some do, that Keys and Gray should be sacked for their private-made-public comments, from now on I will find it even more difficult to stomach them, knowing with a little more certainty what a pair of colossal pricks they are.

UPDATE: According to several sources, Keys and Gray have been suspended for one match (at least) and so won’t be involved in Sky Sports’ coverage of tonight’s Premier League game between Bolton and Chelsea. A smack on the botty, no more, but it’s better than nothing. More on this when we have it.

The audio (Via Anorak):

Keys and Gray get the giggles watching the 1998 Women’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Croydon:

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  1. tp says:

    To be fair, those highlights at the end are pretty hilarious.

  2. Ollie Irish says:

    @ tp – Shhh! (Yes, yes they are)

  3. BigAl says:

    I think it’s Gray that should check the rules for offside, as she got it bang-on.

    Anyway, I’m off to look at the Wags & Girls section of the site.

  4. mizman says:

    ive never seen a volley loop into the net, yet still generate enough backspin to cross the line, and then run back across the goalmouth. Tek-a-booo, Girl!

  5. George says:

    I don’t think they should be sacked for this. They’re obviously arseholes, but the comments were made off air. If we sacked people every time they made an offensive remark in a private conversation, then we wouldn’t have many people left in jobs. If they’re gonna be sacked, they should be sacked because they’re so shit at their job as pundits. Didn’t Andy Gray make a comment the other day along the lines of, ‘Barcelona wouldn’t beat Stoke because they don’t like it up ’em’?

  6. Lisa Marshall says:

    Richard Keys = twat… Not much else to add..

  7. Tinez says:

    The comments the pair have made reek of backwards thinking. I’m glad Sky so quickly repudiated them. They have embarrased themselves and the network and should be rightly punished. The ban on tonight’s game seems to me to be more of an exercise in attenuating the fallout and a preventing a heavily cringeworthy, half-baked apology having to be made to the official and a gender that have heard it all before. She is pioneering the inclusion of women in the men’s game and that can only be a good thing.

    As for Brady, Laurie Sanchez said on radio 5 today that she employs 75% female only employees. I’m not sure if that’s hypocrisy or positive discrimination.

    It would be interesting to watch Barcelona play Stoke. There is nothing like Stoke in La Liga and occasionally they can pass the ball about. Barcelona undoubtedly wouldn’t enjoy the game, as wouldn’t anyone watching. Still, it would be interesting.

  8. Rob Clyne says:

    George – yes they are now ageing, bad pundits, set in their ways. But their heads really should be chopped for this. Working in TV means you have a higher responsibility to your audience. Being an intrinsically sexist person is not excusable. Apology or not, they’ve proved themselves to be unworthy of their positions. Sky should bump them off and get some fresh new talent in their places. Sadly, they probably won’t.

  9. Chris says:

    Keys: “Somebody better get down there and explain offside to (the black guy).”
    Gray: “Can you believe that? A (black)linesman. (Black men) don’t know the offside rule.”
    Keys: “’Course they don’t. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny [Dalglish] will go potty. This is not the first time, is it? Didn’t we have one before?”
    Keys: “The game’s gone mad. Did you hear charming (Barrack Obama) this morning complaining about (racism)? Do me a favour (son).”

    Now does everyone get it?

  10. PhilandoTorres says:

    I don’t see why they’re apologising – they obviously believe the shite they were talking. They sounded genuinely pissed off that there was a woman in their midst. The pair of fucking bell ends that they are.

  11. Calski says:

    @Chris – You are spot on mate. If they said it about a black linesman they’d be sacked but because its sexism they get a one match ban. Disgracful. I thought Keys was better than that – sort of expected it from Grey.

  12. Jon says:

    So basically, they get a week off.
    That’s assuming that they aren’t paid by-the-commentary, which I doubt.

    I bet Gray and Keys are pretty chuffed with how this turned out.

  13. disgracedminister says:

    Just sack them, nobody will take it seriously otherwise.

  14. The Yank says:

    If they didn’t make those remarks on air, no one has any right to punish them. Yes, what they said was disgusting and offensive, but they weren’t representing Sky at that point so they have no reason to be punished or even apologize. What if they were just at a pub watching the game when the comments were made? What if it were ANYONE at a pub watching the game? By condemning them, you are saying that if you make a sexist comment in a pub or off-air or what have you, you should be punished for it. Sorry, but I believe in freedom of speech, the total and complete freedom (which sounds redundant because you can’t be more free or less free, only free or not free).

    Everyone needs to grow up. Stop getting so upset by people making stupid comments. If they made a comment about Americans, I’d laugh it off because its nothing more than busting chops really, but now everyone thinks they under a vicious attack or something. Hey ladies, if you get upset by these guys saying you don’t know how referee, tell them they don’t know how to be a proper pundit, and move on. The world keeps spinning and everyone’s chops are busted.

  15. paul merson ex coke head says:

    Ex Villa nonce Grey thinks anyone who aint played football knows fuck all about football anyway.And the hairy cunty bollocks Keys is just a hairy cunty bollocks.

  16. CHEESE FLAN says:


  17. NRP says:

    For God’s sake pension off AND get rid of Mr [too long prntificating ANDY GREY who his pressing prescribed and programmed buttons to substanstiate his ‘findings’ and, please, please dismiss that overpaid and absolutely and totally unessessary opener KEYS.

    Whilst I set these ‘simple’ and necessary requests, the [ever respected British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC] should look at and evaluate the role of 4/5/6/7 presentors that do contribute so, so, little BUT taking so much tangible rewards.

  18. mikey says:

    yes sack em both…
    they should know better and Sky can do better than these 2.

    they got it wrong anyhow… and gray regularly gets it wrong.
    he is such a biased tw@t – if you are chelsea or man u you are perfect anyone else he is a hater.

    ridiculous pair of sexist repugnant dinosaurs… all the work everyone did to get a female lines person and then they try and undo it with their bs. they have to go. I’ll cancel sky sports if they don’t. I’m not listening to them again.

  19. Chris says:

    @ Yank: Again, put it in the context of racism. Can you really toss it aside as off-the-cuff remarks? I just don’t understand. If you were to hear someone in a pub commenting on how the “black” linesman couldn’t understand offside because he’s “black”…Are you saying that you wouldn’t be apalled? Are you saying that you would sit there and laugh it off? If you would – wow. If you wouldn’t how is it different?

  20. blitzen says:

    Spot on, Chris. Thanks for that.

  21. kahhoe says:

    i think their wife is a man! andy GAY, and Richard Gay! play asshole man!

  22. kahhoe says:

    kill these two bastard!

  23. kahhoe says:

    if i see these two idiots in town, i will give them a slap andcastrate them to be a half man and woman! really these two are basatard and idiot in making! Gray;s face looks like a bulldog and keys’s face looks like cat! Cat and Dog man!

  24. Nice article. Thanks for posting such wonderful article. Both of them are currently elderly, awful pundits, set in their ways. Other than their heads actually they should be chopped for this. Functioning in TV means you have a higher duty to your spectators. Being a fundamentally sexist person is not explicable. Admission of guilt or not, they have proved themselves to be worthless of their positions. Sky should bang them off and get some brand new aptitude in their spaces. However, thanks for them. Still they gave good services to some television viewers.

  25. Meji says:

    Lol. Sack Andy Gray? You must be ‘avin a laugh mate.

  26. rocket says:

    sky sacked rodney marsh for a tongue in cheek remark why not do the same,especially gray he is a prick

  27. […] Bullets On The Brain – The Terrible State Of Football In Northern Ireland […]

  28. Jo says:

    Ollie, you seem to be dead set against sexism. Fancy a shag ?

  29. Dont worry says:


  30. Davo says:

    Sexism? We’ll have no more man flu jokes then and sky need to stop all sexist TV ads aimed at demeaning men. I also think we need some representation on loose women, sorry loose women/men.

    You need to grow up it was just a joke and its disgusting that Sky have sacked an experienced entertaining pundit because of the rabid thought police faction. I hope they loose business through it.

  31. Max says:

    @Chris – obviously a very valid point you made. The only thing is, I would be wary in drawing a straight (and, no offence, slightly lazy) comparison between racism and sexism. Racism is far, far more of a serious matter: racist chants are not implying black people (and others) are inferior football, they are implying black people (and others) are inferior as a race – while also threatening violence. Keys and Gray (while I dont condone them) were merely implying women are inferior in regards to football competence. Very big difference, I think.
    If I told a female friend to get in the kitchen and make me a meal, she obiously wouldn’t do so (unless I got very lucky), but would take it as the joke it clearly was and probably give banter back (Id deserve it.) If I told a black friend to clean my shoes, or called them a racial slur (however much in jest), then I wouldn’t blame them if they ended our friendship and beat me up as well.
    Im not saying sexism is right (especially the type of bullying sexism showcased by Grey), but as a subject, race is far more sensitive, and rightly so. Just wanted to make the point

  32. Also Andy Gray was fired for a combination of things. He got a warning yesterday for his comments regarding Massey, but then the sack today when it came out that he’d made some inappropriate comments to Charlotte Jackson (a fellow Sky Sports presenter) back in December. That video is on YouTube as well.

  33. Mark says:

    Do you imagine they have never spoken like this before? So why now?
    Could Andy Grey’s legal action against a Murdock paper for phone hacking have hacked Murdock off? After all, it made Murdock’s man at No 10 resign and now his take over of all of Sky is in question. So who set Andy up? My guess is big Rupert himself.

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