So a minimum one-match ban has been handed down by the executives at Sky Sports to Andy Gray and Richard Keys following their comments about women and football on Saturday. (Haha, jokes, they’ve been put on ironing leave.)
The consequence of their actions has seen them villified and thrown off of our television screens for Monday Night Football this week.
But is what they did really as bad as is being made out?
Sure it’s a stupid attitude that has no place in society, but let’s be honest; How many men at first glance saw the female assistant in the Wolves v Liverpool match and thought of something sexist immediately, or went “ooooooh a woman”….Yep, thought so.
Because whilst society has changed over the last 40-odd years and the role of women has changed, football – Karren Brady excepted – remains as one big boys club (I especially include those executives charged with running the game – Sepp Blatter, amongst many other Sepp Blatter-alikes – whose attitudes about anything and everything are very much stuck in the past – tighter, skimpier shorts for women Sepp?).
It’s like going to the gym or the pub. What do guys talk about?…Sport and women.
That is the same in changing rooms up and down the country, from Premier League to Sunday League, so why would it be different in the studio or the commentary box?
Yes, what Keys and Gray did was completely stupid, completely idiotic, absolutely pig-ignorant. But it happens and so they should deal with the consequences.
But let’s not go over the top as though they’ve killed someone and hang them out to dry.
Because when football is as male dominated as it is at all levels of the game, these sorts of attitude aren’t going to be changed.
And until there are more women interspersed throughout the men’s game, these attitudes won’t change. But that means that someone somewhere has to be the first to give women a chance.
Could there ever be a female manager in the football league?
Would players take direction from a female manager?
Hope Powell has done a wonderful job with the England women’s team, but has a Football League chairman ever given her an admiring glance?
How would a female chairman get on?
Bologna and Roma are currently run by female owners – Roma are in debt and Rosella Sensi, who inherited the club from her late father is looking for a buyer, whilst Bologna under Francesca Menarini are struggling to hang on to survival once again – therefore, it seems obvious that, as with men, there will be a cross section and some will be good and some bad.
The actions of Keys and Gray are undoubtedly going to lead to more and more questions about the game, but at it’s heart are just the chauvanistic actions of two men in their fifties.
So now, they’ve been labelled as male chauvanists, and done more harm to their reputations with female football fans, and women everywhere, than they could possibly imagine.
Isn’t that enough?
UPDATE: Andy Gray has been sacked by Sky Sports, and Richard Keys hangs by a thread as more videos come out. Also a Twitter campaign has begun to bin Keys, and bring in James Richardson in his place – Personally, I’d prefer me, but what can you do.