Video: Richard Keys in firing line after latest sexist Sky Sports footage
Published 26/01/2011 | 09:50
Following Sky Sports' decision to sack Andy Gray, the position of his fellow presenter, Richard Keys, is under increasing doubt after the emergence of more shocking off-air footage. The video can be viewed above, but users should be aware that the sexist content may offend.
A new clip in which Keys speaks offensively about a former girlfriend of Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp was briefly posted and then removed from YouTube on Tuesday, although it is not clear when it was filmed. By this morning, several versions of the 30-second clip were available on YouTube again.
Keys is already on an official warning from Sky for his sexist remarks about assistant referee Sian Massey in the game between Liverpool and Wolves on Saturday. He also derided West Ham chief executive Karren Brady for raising the issue of sexism in football in her newspaper column.
The clip of Keys follows the dismissal of Gray for "unacceptable behaviour" in footage that was filmed last December but only came to light on Tuesday.
Intriguingly, the new footage of Keys and Gray was posted by the same person, who only opened their YouTube account – in the name of SteveSimons409 – on Monday.
The offending clip of Gray was filmed during the Sky Sports Christmas Special. In it, Gray fiddles with his trousers and says, "Charlotte could you tuck this in here for me". The comment is ignored by his fellow presenter Charlotte Jackson, although does provoke laughter from Keys.
Gray and Keys had already both been stood down from Monday's match between Chelsea and Bolton for their remarks about Massey. Sky Sports' managing director, Barney Francis, also personally oversaw the action that was taken on Tuesday against Gray.
"Andy Gray's contract has been terminated for unacceptable behaviour," he said. "After issuing a warning, we have no hesitation in taking this action after becoming aware of new information."
A Sky statement added: "The decision, which is effective immediately, was made in response to new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour. The new evidence, relating to an off-air incident that took place in December 2010, came to light after Andy Gray had already been subjected to disciplinary action for his comments of Jan 22, 2011."
Gray has now instructed his lawyers, Schillings, over the termination of his contract. The Scot, who was believed to be on a seven-figure annual salary, recently began legal action related to the News of the World phone hacking allegations. Sky and the News of the World are both part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
Betfair, the online betting company, have also said that they are "reviewing" Gray's involvement with their company.
Gray made no public comment but his fiancée, Rachel Lewis, did speak from their home. "He's wanted to apologise for the last few days, desperately," she said. "He was told not to by Sky."
Keys telephoned Massey on Sunday on behalf of both presenters and his apology has been accepted by the 25 year-old schoolteacher.
Sky does not regard the issue of who made the apology as relevant and has simply taken action on the basis of the footage.
Four separate off-air incidents involving Gray or Keys have now entered the public domain, but it is understood that there will be no investigation at Sky into how such sensitive material appears to have been leaked.
Sam Matterface, a former Sky Sports presenter, believes that Gray was not popular among colleagues. "He had an aura; an air about him of being untouchable," said Matterface. "I'm not really surprised that another incident has come to light. I always had the feeling, even though I had cordial exchanges with him, that he wasn't very popular among the people he worked with."
Gray, who has been Sky Sports' main football pundit since the launch of the Premier League in 1992, was also involved in a second incident at the Wolves v Liverpool match that showed him making further sexist remarks about Massey.
That footage occurred before the match. In it, reporter Andy Burton claims a colleague described Massey as a "bit of a looker".
"He says she is all right," Burton added. "Now I don't know if I should trust his judgment on that?"
Gray replied: "Nah, I wouldn't. I definitely wouldn't."
Burton has also been warned about his conduct.