Sian Massey, the female assistant referee who impressed many on her second Premier League appearance Saturday, has been the victim of several alleged sexist comments made by Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray according to Mail On Sunday newspaper.
During Saturday’s match at Wolverhampton Wanderers’s Molineux ground, Massey correctly ruled that Liverpool’s Fernando Torres was onside for the opening goal against Wolves. The correct decision was reinforced by the TV replays.
Meanwhile, the newspaper is reporting that the two presenters believed their microphone were off during the Wolves against Liverpool match, when they were actually on. And here’s what Keys and Gray are reported to have said about Massey:
“Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her,” said Keys.
“Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule,” said Gray.
Keys replied “Course they don’t. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny (Dalglish) will go potty. This isn’t the first time, is it? Didn’t we have one before?” And then he added “The game’s gone mad. Did you hear charming [West Ham vice-chairwoman] Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Do me a favour, love.”
When The Mail On Sunday reporter confronted Keys with the transcript, he is reported to have replied “I have no recollection of that. I have no idea what you are talking about. My recollection is that I wished the young lady all the best.” According to the newspaper, the reporter then replied that he had a recording of the conversation to which Keys replied “If you have a tape then you don’t need me to talk to you.” Gray, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment by the paper.
If the comments by Gray and Keys are true, those are deplorable things to say and they as well as Sky Sports should issue an apology immediately. Massey obviously knows the offside decision otherwise she would not be officiating at this high level. The comments by Gray and Keys reek of sexism and an apology should be given to Brady as well.
It seems that the more Keys and Gray open their mouths recently, the more trouble they get into. The two had an embarrassing debate recently on television about Barcelona. Keys let loose some very leading questions which Gray picked up on and questioned whether Barcelona would have a tough time coping against Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers.
Thanks to EPL Talk reader Darren Warren for the news tip.
UPDATE: Sky has issued a statement about the matter which reads “The comments are not acceptable. They were not made on air but we have spoken to Richard and Andy and told them our views and they have apologised and expressed their regret.”
UPDATE: A newly released video of Richard Keys shows the Sky Sports presenter making more sexist remarks. The video can be seen here.
UPDATE: Richard Keys was interviewed Wednesday by TalkSport Radio in the United Kingdom where he explained his side of the story. Listen to that interview now.