Where do we draw line now that workplace borders are blurred?
Published 27/01/2011 | 05:00
Andy Gray has been several things in his 55 years -- footballer, commentator, pundit, broadcaster, "brand ambassador" -- but, as of this week, he has only one title. He is the Soccer Sexist -- disgraced, discredited, dumped, the object of public ridicule and vilification.
His offence was appalling. He was seen in the Sky Sports TV studio during a rehearsal for a Christmas special. As presenters were having microphone cables attached to their clothing, Gray fiddled with his trousers and said to his co-presenter Charlotte Jackson, "Tuck this in here for me, love." Ms Jackson made no reply, and merely adjusted her own microphone down the front of her dress. It's possible she didn't notice his suggestion, but it is unlikely she would have swooned with embarrassment at his words; she has, after all, appeared in abbreviated beachwear in downmarket lads' magazines. But after the footage went viral on YouTube, compounding his earlier mockery of female assistant referee Sian Massey, the balloon went up.
Gray was sacked from his €1.9m-a-year job. Sky Sports called his behaviour "unacceptable and offensive".