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.