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Martin Devlin: Give Gray his job back


By Martin Devlin

Published: 10:56AM Friday January 28, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

Andy Gray has just received the harshest red card in football.

His sacking from Sky Sport (England) this week, after recordings of some non-broadcast remarks he'd made were leaked to the tabloids, reflects far worse on the man's former employers than anything about Gray and what he may or may not have actually said.

Initial reports suggested that Gray, and fellow match-caller Richard Keys, were being suspended following particular criticism of lineswoman Sian Massey's performance during last weekend's English Premier League clash between Wolves and Liverpool - comments deemed by a bunch of faceless/nameless moralisers as being "sexist".

Gray and Keys were both firmly of the view she'd cocked up an "offside" call and derided her understanding of that law.

The key point here is that not one word of this so-called "offensive" conversation ever went to air.

The only reason any of us know about it is because some turdy-bum-rat colleague of theirs chose to utterly invade their privacy by making secret tapes/transcripts behind their backs, stealing that intellectual property and then gifting it to the gutter press. (Or, much more likely, on-selling this garbage at a tidy cash price, ta very much!).

A couple of blazing front page headlines later, embellished with the oh-so-predictable blather of "I'm outraged" opinions from the usual willing-and-able-agenda brigade, and 20 years of impeccable quality employment service gets tossed down the toilet.

Give yourselves a slap Sky Sport England. What kind of spineless people run your company?

At best this is a complete nonsense. At worst, it's something that could've (and should've) easily been handled with a quiet word "behind closed doors".

I've yet to read anything from Ms Massey saying her life is now irreparably damaged as a result of what Gray/Keys said about her and/or her sideline efforts.

Even less relevant is the fact they chatted about whether the woman's good-looking or not - wake up world, this is how men and women conversate. It's normal, it's natural, it means nothing more than any cheap throwaway line ever does.

I've tried to read as much as is available about this story (and duly apologise if I've somehow missed the "smoking gun") but, in my mind anyway, neither man committed any crime nor even said anything most of us would deem revolting or sleazy or even highly inappropriate.

No I'm not endorsing their words, just simply trying to put some perspective on the situation in terms of relative importance to other things going on in that part of the world which might actually deserve such a similarly sized and overly-moralised reaction but never ever seem to attract the same.

This is the smallest of small potatoes people.

Even if Gray and Keys' remarks were a little "offside", do both men really need to be shown the ultimate red card?

And finally, a quick word on the Aussie Open tennis after Federer's exit last night:

Roger's starting to play like Tiger...

What do you think? Should Gray have been sacked? Have your say on the message board below.

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  • TTT said on 2011-01-31 @ 23:53 NZDT: Report abusive post

    The old

  • BlairLSK said on 2011-01-31 @ 11:43 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Apart from using facts, try using the english language a little better too. 'Conversate'? That's a word is it? Also, using brackets (or parantheses) only serves to slow down the flow (or rhythm) of what you are trying to say. If the sentence has a word that could have been removed while still making sense, don't put (or place) it in useless (or redundant) things that only frustrate your (intelligent) readers. When you write, remember people have to read it.

  • amazingg said on 2011-01-29 @ 11:40 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Yes, them gone! Get your facts right; the official in question was derided for being a woman. NO OTHER REASON. Keys referred to an ex-gf of a colleague as 'it', as in 'did you smash it?' It's even MORE reprehensible that they don't have the guts to say it in public; dinosaurs! OUT!

  • zinny01 said on 2011-01-29 @ 09:03 NZDT: Report abusive post

    How naive your article is. It is common knowledge that the clips had been placed on a non secure public file on the Sky IT network. Due to the arrogant and nasty behaviour of these individuals, Sky wanted to get rid of them, hence these files appeared. Why pay out their contract when you can get disgruntled colleagues to publicly hang them. The IP belongs to Sky. They have not done any inquiries into how these clips became public. Is this how TV is going to get rid of bad people in the future?

  • GERRARD8 said on 2011-01-28 @ 15:59 NZDT: Report abusive post

    A pity she wasn't assistant referee in the Liverpool v Fulham game yesterday! The assistant flagged for an offside in which Torres was clearly onside and went on to beat the Fulham keeper only to have it ruled out. Sarah Ho appers to be doing a more than decent job running the line in A league games too