Massey heads to Crewe as more 'sexist' comments from Gray released
Published 25/01/2011 | 08:58
Sian Massey will run the line at Crewe's Gresty Road ground tonight amid the ongoing controversy created by comments made about her by Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray.
Before the game between Wolves and Liverpool on Saturday, Keys and Gray appeared to agree in an off-air discussion that female officials "don't know the offside rule" in a conversation which was picked up by microphones.
Massey has since been telephoned by Keys, who wanted to apologise for the remarks.
The two presenters were stood down for last night's Bolton v Chelsea match amid the furore, with David Jones standing in for Keys. Jones was joined in the Sky studio by regular pundit Jamie Redknapp and Stoke forward Eidur Gudjohnsen.
However, the controversy was fuelled last night when more footage was released, this time with Gray and pitchside reporter Andy Burton talking about Massey.
Burton said "apparently, a female lino today, bit of a looker", with Gray responding: "A female linesman?"
"He (a Sky Sports crew member) says she (Massey) is all right," Burton continued, "now I don't know if I should trust his judgement on that?"
Gray then said: "No, I wouldn't. I definitely wouldn't... I can see her from here," before swearing and adding: "What do women know about the offside rule?"
Keys' apology was accepted by Massey, who got a vital first-half offside call absolutely spot-on at Molineux in the build-up to Liverpool's first goal, and she is now focused on her next assignment - an npower League Two match between Crewe and Bradford tonight.
Keys and Gray discussed Massey's appointment for the game at Molineux on Saturday, speaking when they believed their microphones were switched off.
They agreed that female officials "don't know the offside rule", with Keys adding: "I can guarantee you there'll be a big one today. (Liverpool manager) Kenny (Dalglish) will go potty."
Dalglish opened yesterday's Liverpool press conference with a quip, asking Sky Sports' representative if he objected to the presence of a female journalist.
The Scot's daughter Kelly, a former presenter on Sky Sports News, said on her Twitter account: "Phew, am exhausted. Just read about something called "the offside rule". Too much for my tiny brain. Must be damaged from nail polish fumes."
In the same off-air discussion with Gray, Keys also went on to remark on comments made by West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady in The Sun on Saturday morning about the level of sexism in football, saying: "See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love."
Brady told Five Live: "It makes my blood boil, if I'm absolutely honest.
"What really upsets me is the fact only females in our industry are judged by their gender. And that is categorically wrong.
"I'm genuinely disappointed. It never would have occurred to me that they had those views, whether public or private."
Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis, who confirmed Keys and Gray had been stood down from their Monday night duties, said: "It has been made clear to each of them that their comments were totally unacceptable.
"Those views are inexcusable, entirely inconsistent with our ethos as a business and employer, and will rightly offend many of our customers, our people, and the wider public.
"They are inexcusable from anyone at Sky, regardless of their role or seniority."