'Sexist' pundit Gray sacked

2011-01-26 11:30

London - Former Everton and Scotland striker Andy Gray was sacked from his highly-paid role as a television pundit for Sky Sports on Tuesday after his sexist comments about a female assistant referee.

VIDEO: Andy Gray's sexist comment

Gray's contract, reported to be worth 1.7 million pounds-a-year, was terminated with immediate effect following his involvement in two separate incidents.

Former Aston Villa star Gray and Sky's main presenter Richard Keys, believing their microphones to be switched off, made controversial remarks about lineswoman Sian Massey ahead of a Premier League match between Wolves and Liverpool on Saturday.

They both claimed that female officials did not know the offside rule.

Gray was heard talking to Keys and saying: "Can you believe that? A female linesman. That's exactly what I said. Women don't know the offside rule."

Footage was also leaked of Gray making further comments about Massey in a separate pre-match discussion with a Sky reporter, who was disciplined for claiming he had been told she was a "bit of a looker".

Gray and Keys - who has been in trouble before with remarks made off air but caught on microphone - were both dropped from Monday's TV coverage of the Bolton v Chelsea fixture, with Keys said to have telephoned the official to apologise.

Gray's sacking was also linked to a similar incident in December over a lewd comment made to Sky Sports News presenter Charlotte Jackson. Referring to his microphone, he held his trousers and said: "Charlotte, can you tuck this down here for me?".

In a statement, Sky Sports announced Gray was dismissed "in response to new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour" following an "off-air incident that took place in December 2010".

Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: "Andy Gray's contract has been terminated for unacceptable behaviour. After issuing a warning yesterday, we have no hesitation in taking this action after becoming aware of new information today (Tuesday)."

Along with Keys, Gray has been the face of Sky Sports' coverage of the Premier League since the company bought the rights to televise English football's top division in 1992.

Plymouth Argyle manager Peter Reid, a friend of Gray and a former Everton team-mate, told BBC Radio 4's PM that he suspected the sacking may be linked to the fact that Gray is pursuing legal action in relation to alleged phone-hacking by the News of the World - a subsidiary of News Corporation, which owns a large stake in BSkyB and is seeking to purchase the whole company.

Gray has gone to the High Court in an attempt to force private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to reveal which News of the World journalists asked him to hack into their phones.

Gray's mobile number, password and pin were found in notebooks seized during a police raid on Mulcaire's home in 2006, the court heard last week.

Reid said: "He has got lawyers involved with the phone-hacking at News International. I did think of linking the two things.

"The comments weren't great, but I think it was a joke and I have got a feeling they might be linked in some way."

Meanwhile, Professional Games Match Officials confirmed that Massey had been withdrawn from Tuesday's League Two game between Crewe and Bradford where she was due to act as an assistant referee.


  • - 2011-01-25 19:49

    good - he was an embarrassment, and is a typical know it all, when he actually knew very little. He was on 1.8 million pounds salary - absolutely ridiculous for a football has been

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-01-25 20:09

    No, that is pretty ridiculous.

  • Rob - 2011-01-25 20:40


  • mynah - 2011-01-25 20:48

    What did he say?

  • mynah - 2011-01-25 20:58

    To the right we have a video of a nasty sexist rant, as well as an FHM calendar girl video, courtesy of the anti-sexist lobby. Where is the calendar boy video, please?

  • marco - 2011-01-25 21:52

    And why can't South Africa's ANC Government do the same thing to Julias Malema instead the "donkey looking face" is allowed credence and credibility for blurting out "Struggle songs part of our heritage-Malema" and the other K@K he does "Dubul’ ighunu"("Shoot the Boer").It should be warning to all other democracies in the world that labours under the misapprehension that you can say and do whatever you want it's a free country kinda K@K.In England that's not the case and that's the difference for me between living under this democracy in England and the one in South Africa.Their is a huge difference.The ANC gets away with saying whatever it wants whenever they want to.Well this example shows it ain't the case over here.Far to many readers of this News24 forum thinks it's within their rights to say and do to other people what they want under the banner of free speech or it's within my rights.Their is a certain line to be drawn and you can't and shouldn't cross it whether it be sexism or racism.This was television but the principle of this incident applies everywhere in life.

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-01-26 04:43

      Practice what you preach, Marco. "donkey-looking face" was unnecessary and detracted from what you were trying to say. - 2011-01-26 11:47

      Yes marco Andrew Griffiths is correct, you shouldnt insult donkeys like that. Rather call him shit face or turdburger.

  • Bandit - 2011-01-26 08:20

    you know as the MOOK said it - I knew he was going to get a stick up his bum. Anyway I don't think anybody can understand anything he says.

  • uno - 2011-01-26 08:26


  • kgb123 - 2011-01-27 09:38

    what is it with sky sports commentators, do they not go for a course were they are taught how to switch off their mikes, this is the second guy now. there was that other stupid australian who referred to "super man" Hashim amla as a terrorist and guess what he was fired beacuse his mike was still on the thw whole world heard it, stupid......

      Jim - 2011-01-27 11:46

      The whole world heard Louis Luyt"s after dinner speech on the 1995 rugby world cup,and nothing happend.But you yarpies are such a perfect bunch it is understandable,not stupid in the least.

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