A small word about the offside rule

How heartening to see the reaction from established sports personalities to the appalling remarks made by Gray and Keys regarding Sian Massey. Kenny Dalglish and Rio Ferdinand we are grateful to you both for voicing your support for her and your disgust at the two commentators’ attitudes.


But let’s not forget that the ubiquitous and rampant sexism within the field of sports is going to take more than this event to break down. I‘m still waiting for a response to a letter I wrote to the BBC regarding their patronising and pathetic attempt to feature women’s sport in the Sports Personality of the Year programme  before Christmas. A 40 second slot devoted to women’s sport under the title ‘girl power’, within a two hour programme. No mention of our successful Cricket, Rugby, Football or Hockey teams; language such as ‘golden girls’ being bandied about. The BBC has as much to answer for as Sky does. And it seems to be having some trouble in coming up with a response.


Sky should sack both Keys and Gray for their insults to women. If it has any business sense –  not to mention ethical and cultural sense – then it will . But we need to look much deeper at the attitudes we have to women and sport and address them head on. This means giving girls every opportunity to take part, to celebrate their role models (and know who they are), and to be allowed to compete and be rewarded in the same way that boys and men are. This means taking to task the boardroom culture which dominates sport and getting more women in top positions. And it means that we finally need to wake up to the fact that women are informed and engaged consumers of sport in all its forms.



5 responses to “A small word about the offside rule

  1. I don’t condone this at all but really, what do you expect from men like this? They’re middle aged football commentators for God’s sake! The mike wasn’t on and it was a private conversation. They should have been been warned and then made to apologise and that should have been the end of it. I think he has a good case for unlawful dismissal as he’s been in this job 20 years. Where were his verbal and written warnings?

    Now I hear Gray has been sacked for uttering other – again off the mike – offensive remarks. Odd, don’t you think, that what was off the mike should suddenly have appeared on the mike and been broadcast on the main news.

    Oh, doesn’t this make Sky look squeaky clean and right on? Nothing to do with Rupert Murdoch wanting to ingratiate himself with public opinion for his own ends, of course.

  2. 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.

  3. What they said off-air is no worse than what the presenters of ‘loose women’ say LIVE’ on a daily basis.

    This is yet another example of hypocrisy, women can say whatever they like, men cannot.

  4. Strange – because I do not regularly see or hear women making derogatory comments about men and their bodies or their behaviour but every day I see/hear/read men routinely sexually harassing/sexually insulting/making misogynistic comments about women and no one appears to ‘bat an eyelid!’

    But wait – on the rare occasion a male or in this instance two misogynists are taken to task for their insulting behaviour towards women immediately an apologist springs to their defence and attempts to claim ‘false parallels’ because of course if men insult women then women do likewise!

    As regards hyprocrisy well misogyny is rampant and widely condoned by malestream media because it is just supposedly ‘male banter’ not deliberate male domination and male contempt for women. Sigh! Furthermore if a woman dares to criticise a man he just ignores her criticism because he knows he is right since he is male whereas she poor thing is female and in his mind she is incapable of having his superior (sic) intelligence. This is called male supremacy in action by the way.

  5. Sylvia Ann Jenkins

    Oh, dear. I was delighted to see the England France game on sky, yesterday, only to find that it was taken off at half time to make way for men’s golf! Try as I might, I was unable to find out the result from the national press, I had to look on the internet. Surely our international rugby players desreve a place in the paper. There is always horse racing reports. Do the media consider our splendid women’s rugby team to be less than horses? Oh, I’ve nothing against horses before people start moaning, but come on, give us a break, and some better role models than thin pop stars and footballer’s women.

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