Unless you’ve been living under a duvet all week (congratulations if you have) you can’t failed to have missed the current sexism row over at the Sky Corporation that has claimed the liver-spotted scalps of Andy Gray and Richard Keys. I’m sure they’ll make nice shower caps for somebody.
What can one say about their behaviour? Childish? Ill advised? Thoughtless? Stupid? We’ve all heard the “it was only banter” excuse wheeled out by various pundits in the aftermath of this politically incorrect implosion. They were just having a laugh, etc, appealing to the most common denominator of their traditional viewing demographics, they was talkin’ football after all weren’t they and we all know what footballers and football fans are like, don’t we?
Yeah. Thick. Tasteless. Atonal. Neanderthal. Synaptically challenged. Their knowledge of Archimedean geometry limited to the Off-Side rule.
Am I being sexist? No, I’m being deliberately offensive.
Mr Gray and Mr Keys however were deliberately sexist. Let’s be honest, there isn’t a linesman or a referee in the world that hasn’t been slagged off by some football fan either in a pub or on the radio or on the TV.
But the complaints will have centred around a piece of bad decision making or a bad call. It won’t have revolved around or centred around the gender of the official.
Andy Gray was quite within his right to take the female lineswoman to task if he felt her call was a bad one. What he didn’t have a right to do was to cast aspersions upon her qualifications for the role – these qualifications quite plainly in Gray’s view being compromised simply because she was a woman. Out of order. Then of course we had the old, tired, lazy verbal exchange about what do women know about the Off-Side rule anyway?
Oh ho ho. Because obviously the Off-Side rule is so difficult to grasp and beyond the capacity of a woman to comprehend that it explains why there are no female scientists, astronomers, quantum physicists, astronauts, surgeons and, oh yeah, professional footballers.
It wasn’t banter. Banter (in my book) is clever and entertaining. There was nothing clever or entertaining about the guff that Gray and Keys came out with. It was like listening to a couple of male 6th formers giggling in the back of a bus about all the girls they fancy but are too scared to actually talk to. You just wanted to slap them both across the back of the head and tell them to grow some pubic hair.
As for the moans that this whole debacle has turned into a witch-hunt I can do no better than direct you to Misssy M whose post on this issue will open up a whole other side of thought and debate.
For the record:
Gray was right to be sacked.
Keys should have leapt onto his own sword sooner.
And yes I despise football utterly utterly.
Because it seems to me that it nurtures and throws billions of pounds at oafish stereotyping behaviour.
Dare to say I’m wrong? Just read the newspapers. Every. Sodding. Week.