Gray, Keys & The Chance Of A Clean Sweep In British Football Broadcasting


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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21 Responses

  1. Jertzeedon says:

    Superb clip

  2. James says:

    I think this has been completely blown out of all proportion. Has everyone suddenly lost their sense of humour?
    The comments were made off-air and were clearly not meant to be taken seriously. It’s pretty hypocritical of these journalists and bloggers harping on as if they’ve never made an un-pc comment themselves before.

    In every workplace and social gathering you hear mildly racist, sexist, homophobic, or nationalist jokes on occasion. It’s just normal everyday banter. Even on TV you hear far more vicious jokes of this nature from the likes of Top Gear, Frankie Boyle, or Family Guy.

    Football commentary is pretty bland and humourless at the best of times, and this kind of uproar at such a mild comment is only going to make things worse.

    If Gray and Keys are bad pundits then they should be sacked for being bad pundits, not because of some silly comment made in private.

  3. Among the distressing number of people defending Keys and Gray (including James), I wonder how amny would have laughed their comments off as “banter” had they been directed towards the Army or The Royal family? It really is time for root and branch reform of the broadcasting of our national sport.

  4. James says:

    I very much doubt The Royal Family understand the offside rule.

    What are you actually suggesting? That commentators should not be allowed to make any disparaging jokes about anyone, even in private? There’s not much humour that doesn’t involve mocking someone or something.

    Why is it ok for comedians to make those kind of jokes as part of their show, but not commentators, even when they weren’t part of the show?

    There is a line between good natured banter and hurtful discrimination, but these comments were nowhere near it.

  5. Wimblepool says:

    If it was light hearted banter, I would have a small amount of sympathy for James’ view. However, listening to the clip their tone is one of bitterness without a hint of humour. These are clearly deeply held prejudices, which I don’t believe have any place in our society.

  6. Gareth says:

    Disagree entirely with James and others like him who say that the comments ‘weren’t meant to be taken seriously’ and put it all down to ‘hilarious’ blokey banter.

    Listen to the audio. It ain’t jokey. They both mean it. Defend their comments if you want to, but don’t try and pretend they were saying it as a laugh.

  7. James says:

    There’s no way you can tell from a twenty second clip with no context that those comments represent deeply held views. I know I’ve had similar conversations with guys at football matches and I certainly don’t hold those views. It’s just typical gloomy footy banter.
    People don’t always say what they mean. Have you never heard of sarcasm, irony, exaggeration, and trolling? Are you seriously suggesting that Gray and Keys genuinely believe that women are incapable of understanding the offside rule?

    If Sky employees who regularly work with those guys come forward and confirm that they actually do hold such ignorant views then fine, sack them; but so far nothing can be judged from the clips I’ve heard.

  8. 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.

  9. Dale says:

    What makes me laugh is that someone like Harry Redknapp can publicly admit to not knowing the offside rule and that’s him talking straight. Good old harry. Something’s gotta be done about the rule it’s too complicated. I expect Keys and Gray would agree with him whole-heartedly.

  10. Martin says:

    Good ol’ Harry struggles with a lot of rules, especially tax ones…

  11. Ben says:

    This is a very left wing article and is a storm in a teacup, and is political correctness gone mad. Anyone who actually thinks this doesn’t happen in daily life all over the country clearly needs to get with it. All the years of social engineering by Labour can’t eradicate common sensical views. Football is a man’s game. Netball is a women’s game. End of.

  12. Steve says:

    Anyone who uses the phrase “political correctness gone mad” or “End of” is going to struggle to participate in any debate ouside their Daily Mail comfort zone.

  13. shash says:

    “Posted by Steve on January 26th, 2011, 16:12

    Anyone who uses the phrase “political correctness gone mad” or “End of” is going to struggle to participate in any debate ouside their Daily Mail comfort zone.”

    I couldn’t agree more! Also, this lame justification that such comments are made every day by people up and down the land is just pathetic, and in my opinion, all the more reason to get rid of Gray and Keys who are clearly a bad example. There have been many comments on the internet defending these two dinosaurs this week which have caused me much dismay. I thought we had made much more progress than we obviously have, and it would appear that such views were just being suppressed until the opportunity came along to join with the other blokey blokes and call it ‘banter’ and label anyone who disagrees as part of the “pee-cee brigade”. This was far from banter, there was no humour in their voices which sounded bitter and resentful more than anything else. From what I have read in the press this week, they had this coming a long time with their alleged bullying and sexism, if this is true they got what they deserved. This behaviour all feels like a throwback to the 70s, 80s and has no place on national TV, nor indeed anywhere.

  14. Gary says:

    What Keys and Gray said might have been ok if they were joking, in which case they could claim they didn’t actually believe what they were saying.

    But it’s clear from listening to them that they fully believed what they were saying – women cannot understand a simple rule. It was not ‘banter’.

    So for me it’s a simple credibility issue. They can believe what they want, but I couldn’t take such Neanderthals seriously on any subject again, including football. They had to go.

  15. Micky F says:

    I’m going to throw my 2 pence in and say I think the calls for Gray and Keys to be sacked for their comments are over the top.

    I find their comments crass and stupid in the extreme but to demand that someone be sacked from their job because you don’t like their views smacks of McCarthyism.

    Unfortunately these kind of PC witchhunts are becoming all too common and the sanctimonious postings of some on here are a bit hard to swallow. Either you’ve all lead impeccable lives guys or you’ve never heard of “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

  16. Martin says:

    Micky F, don’t you think we should expect a certain level of behaviour from people we pay millions a year?

    The best way to avoid a witchhunt is to avoid acting like a witch…

  17. Micky F says:

    So what you’re saying Martin is that people who earn a lot of money should act like saints at all times, while those of us who aren’t paid as well can behave a little less appropriately? No double standard there.

    As for your final comment, all I can say is you should try reading The Crucible, as you might gain some insights.

  18. Hooray….. Keys and Gray have been sacked……i cannot stand the pair. Gray has been voted THE WORST FOOTBALL PUNDIT, so what do we need him for?
    Keys has now stooped lower, getting his wife and daughter pleading for him, obviously they don’t mind being talked to like a WHORE as he did to Louise Glass, hope Louise and her husband sues him.

  1. January 24, 2011

    […] Admit it. You wouldn’t have bothered reading this far if you had known this was just going to be yet another rambling rant about those two arrogant, sexist oafs. Fair play, I probably wouldn’t either. Various writers have already covered the subject brilliantly, particularly for The Guardian and Two Hundred Per Cent. […]

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