As a regular female contributor to ToffeeWeb I have a keen interest in all things Everton and by default football in general. I do know the offside rule as it happens, even though most linesmen have a hard time with it... but what do you expect from such dithering men?
Now, you see, that?s sexism, it's not offensive, just derogatory against men in general. In response, most men would raise their eyes and think ?Bloody stupid woman?? although not be quite so stupid as to say it in public, at least not on camera or in microphone distance if you work for Sky...
I live in Australia, it's not very politically correct at times, and you need a thick skin to survive; that?s the way it is in redneck Queensland.
But it's not just here, it's everywhere to some level or other. It's part and parcel of life in many areas; work, home and play ? and it never will change because of the nature of roles between men and women. As perceived by men, of course, and until the revolution that?s the way it is. Unless, of course, you're in the public eye, then we hold you to much higher levels of scrutiny.
Andy Gray and Richard Keys were idiots but they should not have lost their jobs. Indeed, to be correct, it was only Andy Gray who lost his because of innuendo towards a female colleague who it appeared was not bothered nor impressed by it. That?s NOT to say it's ok, because it isn?t, but I am sure she has heard and seen much worse. Because, for a woman, it?s a daily occurrence in many a work place.
Both incidents were off air, the later in my opinion far more serious than any comments regarding the capability of a female linesman, comments which were wholly initiated by Richard Keys not Andy Gray. In my opinion, Richard Keys instigated and by his comments not only implied sexism but frankly fostered it. Between two guys in a pub, happens every day; two guys in the public eye? Just plain stupid.
In my opinion, Richard Keys deserved to go for his initial comments about the linesman and women in general, his comments relating to Karen Brady just underlined his whole attitude. Stupid man.
The world has moved on, but not uniformly; in some places it?s still seen as banter, in others it's degrading and offensive. All depends on who and where you are. We should expect more but understand that change should not be done at the point of a gun. Education and acceptance are needed to change.
Before this is seen as a defence of Andy Gray and Richard Keys, it's not, not in the least! If they had made the comments on air then it would have been highly inappropriate and they would deserve everything they got. They didn?t, they had a private conversation that was recorded and released. Andy Gray's later act deserves what he got irrespective of being caught on camera or not. It wasn?t banter and it really would be offensive to a lot of women.
Strange though that both incidents were accidentally recorded and saved by someone who obviously had an agenda to do so.
Which brings me to a related point: what can you say in ?private? in a workplace? Has it reached the point where political correctness dictates that, between the hours of 9 ? 5, you are owned both physically and mentally by an employer? Does it mean you cannot voice an opinion to a colleague? Irrespective of it's correctness? Surely people will judge you for your own opinions and not stifle your ability to comment, dress or act on your own convictions without an employer dictating private conversations?
Football officials bear the brunt of every angry supporter, they are vented on because they don?t always get it right, not because of their gender. However, football is still a male-dominated sport from support to football administration and management.
One day, maybe not so far away, Everton might sign a world class striker and it may be a woman. How far away our attitudes to that happening? Will Gwladys Street cheer when she bangs in a hat-trick? Scary thought for many of you? It will never happen?
Sky made the right decision, although one has to ask about the motivation behind doing so and the way the incidents came to light. I hope they learn, but I doubt it.
Christine Foster, Posted 27/01/2011 at 08:14:26
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 28/01/2011 at 00:50:54
Women can play in womens leagues and men can play in mens leagues. Not rocking science. Or sexist!!
2 Posted 28/01/2011 at 00:53:45
3 Posted 28/01/2011 at 00:57:29
4 Posted 28/01/2011 at 00:58:00
Seriously though, the whole episode has been blown out of a proportion. I think that the end result for the 2 presenters was a big plus point for Sky. It has been reported that Andy Gray was earning £1.7M per season. I thought that when he used Evertons bid to get him as manager before we had DM he negotiated an increase in his salary with Sky to almost £3M. Even so, let's say AG was on £1.7M, RK must of been on roughly the same. The 2 guys have been doing this for almost 20 years. I think Sky have taken this as an opportunity to get 2 big earners off of the wage bill and bring in younger and fresher faces. Like him or loath him but Jamie Redknapp is a good looking fella. (Can't believe he comes from wax faces loins). Whats the betting that we have a female lead anchor with JR as the tactical guy??
How about that to please the bra burners!!!
5 Posted 28/01/2011 at 00:57:24
Gray and Keys were dicks for getting caught but I don't think it was anything that bad at all. Nobody got hurt. A simple slap on the wrists would have done.
I work with a woman who makes much more suggestive comments than the one Gray made. I laugh about it with her because it's just a joke. This really isn't complicated, some people need to just stop being a touchy mard arse and there is nothing to worry about.
6 Posted 28/01/2011 at 01:34:49
The fact that not one of their former colleagues have gone on record to defend them suggests that they were a pair of odious fuckers that won?t be missed.
7 Posted 28/01/2011 at 01:57:45
Hasn't there been one playing for Livershite for the last few years of Spanish descent??
8 Posted 28/01/2011 at 01:57:17
No one is asking for women to play in pro football, although if some outstanding players turn up I'd be happy to watch them. Everton might do better with a couple of our FA Cup winning ladies on Saturday. They score goals, you know, and win things.
Women deserve more respect in all areas of their lives and football is just one of them. How could a woman official be worse than some of the men we have berated down the years? Give them a chance.
And by the way, don't be such dicks!
9 Posted 28/01/2011 at 02:49:29
10 Posted 28/01/2011 at 02:58:34
Next time you go to the time and effort of writing an article, Ill look forward to responding in the manner you have.
11 Posted 28/01/2011 at 07:05:03
1. Unlikely that women will play for Everton - but if they're good enough then that's fine by me. But women compete with men in very few sports - so this is unlikley to ever happen in football.
2. More importantly. Is the sacking of Keys and Gray just "PC nonsense" or is it important.
I've got to say I think this is important. It is just banter. But its not harmless. How would people feel if the banter was that "Chinese people" don't know the offside rule. or that Jews don't. Or short people don't. It's not harmless. It reinforces prejudices that are simply wrong.
I am no saint. I indulge in Keys/Gray type banter with my friends in private, I am of a similar vintage. But I think Sky got this right and it sends a powerful message that although this is banter its is not harmless (certainly not in the public domain) and it is not acceptable.
12 Posted 28/01/2011 at 09:14:36
As for the overall point, Sky got the decision bang on. They are like it or not the flag bearer for British football and cannot be seen to have 2 of its prime employees behaving on or off screen they way they have been.
Like most of the rest of you on here I have similar conversations with lads at home/work/pub etc...in that sense it is banter and not directed at anyone in particular....what messrs Keys and Gray were involved in seems to be a sustained period of abuse of position hence their build up of enemies at Sky and the subsequent release of the damning footage. Basically the modern world caught up with them.
I have no doubt they will both re surface in more lucrative positions..perhaps on Italian football channels where Mr Burlosconi will welcome them with open arms!
13 Posted 28/01/2011 at 09:30:24
14 Posted 28/01/2011 at 10:05:32
However I am (again) slightly irritated by the particular issues surrounding Karen Brady and what Richard Keys said about her. In the original tape/transcript that was leaked out from SKY last weekend Richard Keys said something along the lines of...
"I see Karen Brady has been at it again this morning in the papers about sexism in football... do me a favour love"
My question to you Christine and every other female in the world and every politically correct nurd out there... is that comment by RK really that offensive? Does it really warrant him having to justify himself and thus eventually having to resign?
Do me a favour love.
15 Posted 28/01/2011 at 10:19:12
As for Karen Brady...that woman is a viper and I doubt any of this forure has disrupted her in anyway shape or form.
16 Posted 28/01/2011 at 10:38:42
17 Posted 28/01/2011 at 11:32:46
Aren't we trying to shy away from labels and stereotypes Christine? I'm afraid you've fallen foul of it yourself. I'm sure the average banana bender (it means Queenslander to those folk not living in Australia) will take umbrage to this statement.
Maybe you should be sacked from posting on Toffeeweb.
18 Posted 28/01/2011 at 12:01:43
19 Posted 28/01/2011 at 12:15:29
99% of companies up and down the land operate a disciplinary procedure programme which goes in stages from verbal warning, written warning, final warning and then dismissal. So if Grey and Keys were as bad as some people are saying then why were they not subject to such a procedure within the workplace if their behaviour was deemed to be unacceptable? If I was out of order at work and caught saying these kind of things then my boss would pull me in and give me the appropriate warning (verbal/written/final).
I think the answer may lie in the fact that the Sky bosses may have wanted to make changes which involved removing Gray and Keys, but they didn't know how to go about it as these two were quite powerful. Then when realizing there was resentment within the lower ranks of technicians, they joined forces to hatch a plot which would justify moving them out.
I still personally think the whole episode is absolutely ridiculous.
20 Posted 28/01/2011 at 12:31:34
I'm going to be living in Australia for most of 2012, I'm not sure I would fit in with a bunch of rednecks. Is it really that bad?
Regarding the Gray sacking; I'm glad. He's a boring bastard.
Regarding sexism in football and workplace; It's a patriarchal process of assimilation but i'm suren it surfaces now and again. We all have to adopt or discover an alternative lifestyle. In my view, the old fashioned sexism, sectarianism, racism etc is more palatable than the the apparant sophistication and hypocrisy that prevails in this foul year of Our Lord.
It's best to treat people as you find them without preconceptions, I think.
21 Posted 28/01/2011 at 12:49:21
22 Posted 28/01/2011 at 12:21:00
Perhaps at a time when age-ism is such a popular topic in the media, it just gave Sky a great opportunity to rid themselves of two of the older generation of presenters who are both on very lucrative contracts. The speed with which the second and third pieces of film came to light seemed just a tad too convenient for me.
Whether, the final judgement is right or wrong there seems to be a great deal of selective amnesia going on amongst many of the offended parties.
Sky have created an environment where they're quite happy to have their sports news delivered by attractive blondes - quite possibly very bright attractive blondes but you get my drift...
Charlotte Jackson, the innocent victim of Andy Grays lewd behaviour is hardly Snow White and was quite happy to use the 'Lads Mags' route to further her career once Setanta had bitten the dust.
Talksport, who's presenters - particularly Adrian 'holier than thou' Durham have been queueing up to 'protect' both Charlotte, Karren Brady and the female assistant referee (which is in itself fairly patronising), sends out an online magazine each week which asks readers to answer sports questions a five year old would hardly struggle with, in return for seeing their babe of the week disrobe.
And let's not forget Ms Brady who continually demands that women in business be taken seriously and complains about them being seen as simply 'eye candy' - remind me how the two men who pay her substantial salary made their millions?
So, all in all a shed full of hypocrisy is being exhibited by the various parties.
For my money the only real victim in the first instance was Sian Massey and as she got the offside decision correct, she'd already answered Gray and Keys in the best way possible. and it should have been them who were made to look foolish by an on-screen apology.
I'm not over fussed by G and K but lord save us from any extra Jamie Redknapp!
23 Posted 28/01/2011 at 13:29:05
You see its quite ok for men to speak of women in a derogitory way, but heaven forbid.. you'll note however I was not lewd, just sexist. I hope I made my point.
For the record, Queensland isn't full of rednecks, there are some great people here who would give you the shirt of their back.
But I for one don't see a female centre forward at Everton, not this side of Christmas anyway. Although the way its going it may be the only loan we can bring in. And please no comments about showers...
Matthew (14) Keys took umbridge at Karen Brady AFTER instigating personal comments regarding women in football with Andy Gray. Underlining his beliefs that women have no part to play in the game. As a prominent representative of football and the modern game, he was held up, like most politicians, as people who influence and shape views. He gave commentary on football and his comments, even though given privately, did damage image of Sky and football in general.
I still wonder though how such recordings were made and kept adn used and why.
24 Posted 28/01/2011 at 13:56:37
To answer your last question succinctly; Murdoch.
25 Posted 28/01/2011 at 14:02:07
I think they jumped with restrained glee when the recording landed on the desk...
26 Posted 28/01/2011 at 16:26:25
I work in a solicitors office and I hear and say some things that if the client's heard we would be sacked, but that the point, the phone has been hung up and the conversation ended so they wouldn't have heard it unless someone else told them.
The point I am trying to make is that Grey and Keys are both male dickheads, most of us men are but when on camera they are "professional" so why would a larking about or a gossiping session that no-one but the two of them would have heard be reason for a sacking. The public would never have heard any of this but for it being leaked.
Dickheads? Yes but set up dickheads all the same.
27 Posted 28/01/2011 at 16:34:00
28 Posted 28/01/2011 at 17:14:01
All off camera and all off air, just like our kind of conversations in the pub or in the break room at work.
I was probably one of the first in teh pub to notice that the lino was a girl and yes, you've guessed it, the first thing I said to my mates was that she probably wounldn't have any idea about the off side rule. Luckily enough I wasn't sacked from my job
29 Posted 28/01/2011 at 17:24:55
30 Posted 29/01/2011 at 23:27:14
31 Posted 31/01/2011 at 01:43:35
The hypocrisy of Sky astounds me; this is a channel that parades a "soccerette" to be leered at by older men who should know better on their Soccer AM show, and then tells us that there's no place for sexism in their organisation.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.