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Andy Gray Sacked By Sky Sports: The Video That Was The Final Nail In The Coffin

Andy Gray has been sacked by Sky Sports according to Sky News.

The former Everton, Aston Villa and Wolves footballer, who rose to new fame as one of the top football analysts in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports, was sacked due to sexist comments made about female assistant referee Sian Massey who made her second appearance as an assistant referee in a Premier League match on January 22, 2011 for the Wolverhampton against Liverpool match. The situation was compounded yesterday when Sky News released raw footage of a discussion between Gray and Sky Sports touchline reporter Andy Burton where Gray made more sexist remarks. As a result, Burton was suspended by Sky Sports on Tuesday.

“Andy Gray’s contract has been terminated for unacceptable behaviour,” said Sky Sports’ managing director Barney Francis. “After issuing a warning yesterday, we have no hesitation in taking this action after becoming aware of new information today.”

Sky Sports said that the new evidence related to “an off-air incident that took place in December 2010″ and “came to light after Andy Gray had already been subjected to disciplinary action for his comments of 22 January 2011″. As of press time, it’s not known whether the above video is the new evidence that he is referring to, which shows Gray making a sexist joke on a Christmas show.

Meanwhile, in related events…

…the future of Richard Keys at Sky Sports hangs in the balance. He is reported to have apologized to Massey by phone. And she accepted the apology. There’s no indication that Gray attempted to apologize to Massey, so that may have been a contributing factor to his sacking.

The Professional Game Match Officials board “have taken decision to withdraw Sian Massey as Assistant Referee for this evening’s League 2 between Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City.”

While Gray was at Sky Sports, he moonlighted in the United States for ESPN during the 2008 European Championship where he played a lead role as a co-commentator. Plus during the 2010 World Cup he was one of the pundits on Fox Soccer Channel’s nightly World Cup analysis show.

What are your thoughts about Andy Gray getting sacked? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

Personally, I believe Sky Sports made the correct decision. It would have been irresponsible of them to continue employing Gray. Keys future at the broadcaster must be on a razor’s edge right now.

UPDATE: A newly released video of Richard Keys shows the Sky Sports presenter making more sexist remarks. The video can be seen here.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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50 Responses to Andy Gray Sacked By Sky Sports: The Video That Was The Final Nail In The Coffin

  1. fsquid says:

    ESPN should hire him stat.

    • Minnesota Red says:

      Won’t happen. They just fired a college basketball/football play-by-play guy for sexist remarks to a colleague.

      • Jeff H says:

        Agreed. With the recent incident over Ron Franklin (who’s now filed a wrongful termination suit with ESPN), the network won’t take the PR risk.

  2. MennoDaddy says:

    Good! This asshat should’ve been fired. Sexism and sexist comments like that should have no place in the game, even in the commentators’ booth.

  3. Feehily says:

    He’ll pop up on Fox Soccer once a week now. They have no standards!

  4. Dave C says:

    Sad, but I guess that’s the way it is in TV.

  5. blaa says:

    Sexist comments have no place in civilised society.

    Sky should replace him with a big titted bird.

  6. Earl Reed says:

    The thing that boggles my mind is that there are still idiots who think this way. I guess they are so threatened by the prospect of a female coming in and possibly doing better than themselves, that they have to tear down every other female in the world who theoretically takes a “man’s position” in their own deluded minds.

    The problem is, Gray and Keys are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this kind of vitriol. And while Gray and Keys were exposed for their paleolithic prejudices, there are many others who will take heed and keep their biases to themselves, except to influence their analysis in a subversive fashion. Here’s hoping that Massey and others more than prove their competency through their decisions on the pitch.

    • Sean says:

      Do not bother with the link because the video has been posted on top.

      Anyway, if you ask me, that video is by far the worst of everything that has come out about Andy Gray in the last few days. In the first two instances it can be argued that his comments did not directly affect anyone (though they were well out of order).

      In this clip though, not only does he put his co-host in a terribly uncomfortable situation but, he does it right before she goes back on air which directly affects her job.

      There is no room in football for dinosaurs like this.

  7. brn442 says:

    It’s a shame when anyone loses their job but Gray’s behaviour left Sky few options. His comments were simply beyond the pale.

    And another thing, Andy Gray has been in poor form as a commentator the last few years; he was very disappointing on Fox during the World Cup – a long way from those halcyon days and those big matches he did with Martin Tyler in years past. If he didn’t have a Scottish accent he would have gotten the sack ages ago – good riddance.

  8. jose says:

    oh great, who can replace him, i love drinking and watching the games he comments because it’s fun to try to figure out what he says. they better get another scot with a deep accent.

  9. bmon says:

    obviously this douche bag should have been fired. how is this even an issue?
    who acts like this anymore anyways? it would be awesome if these women filed a case against him for damages. I think there is just cause here as no matter how much of an asshole this guy is there are people who hang on his every word (just like a lot of Americans actually consider FOX a valid source of news). Sky might just be protecting a profit margin that is bigger than any pundit but they sure do a better job than the RCMP.

  10. fsquid says:

    ESPN US and ESPN UK are two totally different animals. I wonder what he said to Julie Foudy during the Euro 2008 coverage.

  11. Thomas says:

    Just going with the way things are handled these days, it’s no surprise he was sacked.

    What’s interesting to me is that Sky released the raw footage as well. I guess they had probably decided that all the incidents coupled together meant the end for Gray .

    I’m excited, because maybe now we’ll finally get some different commentary in FIFA haha.

    • Sean says:

      “I’m excited, because maybe now we’ll finally get some different commentary in FIFA haha.”

      Haha I love your priorities!

  12. Dave C says:

    For last night’s game, Sky hired Eidur Gudjohnsen to act as pundit alongside Jamie Redknapp. That’s right, Eidur Gudjohnsen, the guy who (on Sep 11, 2001) got drunk in an airport lounge and made fun of the whole WTC-attack thing. Great PR move, Sky!

  13. Terry says:

    I do think there is an interesting parallel between the commentators (and watchers) of football who think this behavior is okay (if you don’t get caught) and thinking it’s okay to get stuck in and go through another player’s legs/ankles/feet as long as you touched the ball first (or soon enough thereafter). It’s no different. They’re living in the past and not calling or analyzing the game as it exists today. They’re dinosaurs who are refusing to evolve. So if they think the game should be played as it was in the 1950s, is it any surprising that they think other (sexist) behaviors of that era are acceptable? (Reference: Mad Men.)

  14. Andrew Puopolo says:

    Will he be on FIFA 12?? Hopefully they can replace him with Chris Kamara

  15. tonyspeed says:

    This deserves a firing. The offside rule comments, no so much.

  16. Rob Trouse says:

    Gray and Keys should both be sacked, there is no more room for any prejudice in sport. Sian Massey is a qualified PE teacher, bet she could learn them something, she is doing a great job for the game. There has been lines men and women in Ireland for years now and they are a credit to football.

  17. Dave C says:

    About time they sacked the vulgar Dinosaur Andy Gray……..this sort of Publicity is bad for football

  18. H. Benson says:

    I am suprised that he was not sacked before. How humiliating for the newsreader.

  19. Stuart Drummond says:

    Andy Gray is very unprofessional…………….i am pleased he is sacked

  20. Tuttle says:

    There obviously is a culture of sexism among a certain portion/age group of European males. Most of it MacManaman type “lady linesman” stuff. Just watch how Gabby Logan has to handle the Alans when she hosts MotD (stand your ground, take no crap, call ‘em out when they say something moronic). It’s not mean or nasty, not a means of imposing control or asserting male privilege … just a general cluelessness. Something to be called out but not something to hound somebody’s career over. And as an F1 fan, I’ll be the first to admit football ain’t where it is worst (I for one would pay good money to see Danica Patrick kick Bernie Ecclestone square in the nurts… repeatedly).

    That video though. That was simple assholish bullying.

    • Dave C says:

      There obviously is a culture of sexism among a certain portion/age group of European males
      To make that kind of generalization is sexist (against males), age-ist (against that certain age group) and racist (against Europeans, if that can be called a race). I’m offended!

  21. Sean says:

    Someone (or some group) REALLY have it in for Gray and Keys.

    Gray deserved the sack. Keys’ comments were well out of order but, surely this latest leaked video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvsaG3b9uVY) is just Keys partaking in a bit of banter with the lads.

  22. AMANDA says:

    HOORAY AT LONG LAST GRAY GETS THE SACK !! NOT BEFORE TIME. HE WAS THE WORST EVER SKY PRESENTER AND HE WILL SURELY NOT BE MISSED, LOL !! SHOULD HAVE KEPT HIS BIG GOB SHUT. SIAN MASSEY THIS IS A WIN FOR YOU DEAR. GOODBYE GRAY AND GOOD RIDANCE.

  23. AMANDA says:

    GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDANCE TO ANDY GRAY, LOL. HE WONT BE MISSED !!!

  24. Terry says:

    RIchard Keys should be fired next. He is even more abnoxious than Gray. Keys has a history about saying disparaging things about others and has believes he is untouchable. Even though he may have called Massey and apologised I still think he should be fired.

  25. ElNino says:

    I will miss Andy Gray, mainly because I grew up listening to him and Martin Tyler. When in the states, i would download the Sky Feed of matches just to listen to them discuss. Surely, he deserved the firing, but it is the end of a great era.

  26. Cantona says:

    Andy will resurface again…after this blows over… he is too good.. my bet is that he will return to SKY SPORTS again after some form of “rehab” and an apology.. he was part of the team that was directly responsible for putting SKY television in the prominent position it is in today.. he has been a staple on BritishTV for the last 20 years.. when the time is right he will be back. Andy without a doubt was the best pundit out there..i am amazed at all of the “informed” haters coming out of the closet…

    Cantona—

    • King Eric says:

      jamie redknapp is the best pundit.

    • Terry says:

      I think that is possible. Look at Marv Albert. He was back on NBC after two years and that was sexual assault w/ a 12 month suspended sentence. Don Imus was back on radio in less than a year and TV a year after that, and his comments were OTA! I agree that it is entirely possible that if Gray and Keys want to get jobs they can do that provided they rehabilitate themselves in the process.

  27. King Eric says:

    the center ref commented on her performance after the match saying she did a fantastic job. he continued…my kit was neatly ironed before the game and her sandwiches at halftime were delicious. if it were up to me she’d be a part of my team week in and week out. hahaha. i think sky should make a statement and replace his position with a female – preferably a fit bird with big, ermmm, eyes?

  28. I was hoping this wouldn’t be brought up. I really hope Liverpool knows to bring their A game tomorrow. I’ve had enough of teams not playing a whole game lately. I might not be able to stand being at work while this is going on. Does anyone know if Stevie is back tomorrow.

  29. Andy says:

    Isn’t it laughable that Gray himself is a man who palpably has no understanding of the rules of the game? He routinely says that its “crazy” that players get booked for taking their shirts off, or going into the crowd. It’s not crazy Andy. It’s the rules.
    And who hasn’t time and time again seen every pundit on TV – not just Gray – say something like “no one understands the offside rule, won’t someone explain it to me,” well, chaps, let me tell you who, on the evidence of Saturday at least, did have a reasonable grasp of it: Sian Massey.

  30. james says:

    Andy Gray was the best. What a massive shame he and Keys are gone. They were a great double act. Women,,, who needs bloody women !

  31. AMANDA says:

    arogant scottish idiot who doesnt know when to shut his mouth. glad he was sacked as he deserved it. he was the worse sky presenter ever, good ridance to him !!

  32. WTF SOB's says:

    WTF is this world coming too if women can be referees lol? They should stick to pole dancing!!! Poor Andy… XD

  33. WTF SOB's says:

    Amanda, you’re too harsh on Andy. It’s not Andy’s fault that Sian was too ugly to get a job as a stripper, and had to go into refereeing. LOL

  34. Nimbus says:

    You do realise don’t you that Gray is taking the News of the World newspaper to Court as they have been tapping his mobile phone in 2007?
    The newspaper is owned by the same people who own Sky TV so he was biting the hand that feeds him.
    Sexism sucks but the big picture here is that Sky wanted to get rid of him. Someone ‘Leaked’ the video that made this happen & I’ll bet there are plenty of other videos out there of presenters doing worse that we don’t know about that haven’t been ‘leaked’

  35. WTF SOB's says:

    Is always, it’s alla bout the money and pointless revenge. Football, while it was always a money making machine, had more to it than the money, like glory and honour. Now, it’s just all about the money. And sexism? Pretty soon the feminists are going to complain that women aren’t allowed to play in the men’s league! Why not complain about the olympics too that women and men’s events are together? U don’t want sexism, go to women’s soccer. Simple. Non of this bullsh*t about sexism. And fuck the money, football’s going in a bad direction, I’d hate to see it end up like hockey did in Canada.

  36. Bullshit says:

    It’s all about the money now. Simple as that. It’s always been, but there was a bit more to football in the olden days then just money. As for sexism, soon the feminists are going to complain that women can’t join the men’s leagues, and that women’s and men’s events in the olympics should merge. U don’t want sexism, feminists, go to women’s soccer. Simple as that.
    As for Charlotte Jackson, look at google images. She models for the camera. If u do that, expect a few crude comments. Simple. And it was a joke, off camera. Sky sports didn’t give a shit, and it took them over a month to fire Gray after the incident. It all goes down to Andy sueing, all about the money, not sexism.

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