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Thursday 03 February 2011

Andy Gray and Richard Keys suspended by Sky Sports over sexist comments

Sky Sports have suspended presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray for sexist comments made about Premier League official Sian Massey.

Andy Gray
Suspended: Andy Gray and Richard Keys will not present Monday Night Football Photo: ACTION IMAGES

Keys and Gray were scheduled to present Sky's Monday Night Football show from the Reebok Stadium tonight where Bolton will host Chelsea. But the broadcaster has now confirmed that both men will be stood down from the game in the wake of a furious reaction to their comments.

“I have spoken directly to both Richard Keys and Andy Gray this morning," said Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports.

“It has been made clear to each of them that their comments were totally unacceptable. Those views are entirely inconsistent with our ethos as a business and employer, and will rightly offend many of our customers, our people, and the wider public. They are inexcusable from anyone at Sky, regardless of their role or seniority. “We have dealt with this matter by taking immediate disciplinary action. As with any employee it would not be right to go into detail on those proceedings.

“However, they have been clearly warned about their behaviour and reminded of their responsibilities. In addition, Richard and Andy will not be involved in any way with tonight’s live Monday Night Football.”

Sports minister Hugh Robertson criticised the pair this lunchtime, saying he was "disapponted to hear these comments at a time when we are trying to get more women participating in football."

And England captain Rio Ferdinand added on Twitter: "I'm all for women refereeing in football - discrimination should not happen in our game at all. Prehistoric views if you think otherwise."

Keys and Gray were recorded mocking Massey, saying "someone needs to go down there and explain the offside rule to her."

Keys also criticised Karren Brady, the West Ham director, saying: "See the charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love."

Brady told Five Live this morning: "It makes my blood boil, if I'm absolutely honest. Forget myself for a second, because what was said about me is a personal opinion and everyone is entitled to that.

"What really upsets me is the fact only females in our industry are judged by their gender. And that is categorically wrong."

She added: "I'm genuinely disappointed. It never would have occurred to me that they had those views, whether public or private."

Read all the latest news and reaction here

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