I’ve been to many a football game where a woman has been running the line. I can honestly say I didn’t even notice until it was pointed out – normally by a bloke in the group saying how she needed to learn the offside rule when a decision didn’t go our way.
This is why comments about female assistant referee Sian Massey by dinosaurs Richard Keys and Andy Gray are so very wrong and much indicative of a certain generation’s view of the game.
Both would remember the game fondly from the 70s and 80s, a time of violence, racism, sexism, muddy pitches, the long ball and, dare I say it, very short shorts!
I wonder if they were similarly as gentlemanly when Jacqui Oatley commentated on her first Match of the Day game?
Football used to be very much a male domain, but those days have gone. Women love football too and are getting involved in every area of the game from playing and officiating to even running clubs themselves.
I love going to a game with the other half, or watching a game together on the telly. But then I do feel Messrs Keys and Gray have been a little unfortunate.
Maybe this was the only way to get rid of these highly-paid presenters? Paying Andy Gray a reported £1.7m a year was ludicrous.
Sky Sports has been very quick to distance itself from the pair’s comments. But let’s remember they weren’t broadcast, but leaked by someone behind the scenes.
Gray and Keys look like they have been hung out to dry – and Sky has since released more unbroadcast material of their archaic ramblings.
Being a fellow broadcaster, I would say we all make off-air comments that would turn the air blue or get us into trouble in some shape or form. So in this respect I feel they have been unjustly treated by their employers.
And this is the same Sky Sports which employs very pretty female presenters for its news channel.
They are all in their 20s or early 30s and look like they are about to go clubbing after their shift.
So maybe Sky Sports needs to look a bit closer at the messages it is putting out?