'I don't like to be the hangman' - Eamon Dunphy's verdict on the Jamie Carragher spitting storm
Eamon Dunphy has described the video of Jamie Carragher spitting at a fan who was taunting him in his car as 'pretty shocking', as he gave his verdict on the incident that has put the pundit's position at Sky Sports in real peril.
Carragher has been suspended by Sky as they ponder whether to sack the former Liverpool defender, with Dunphy suggesting Carragher's behaviour has left a lasting impression that he may struggle to erase.
Speaking to RTE 2fm's Game On show, the outspoken pundit stopped short of suggesting Carragher may have to be relieved of his duties at Sky, but he was clearly stunned by the incident.
"I don't like to be calling for people to lose their jobs, especially when they have made one mistake," he began.
"Jamie Carragher has a good reputation, he appears to be a decent guys, but I have to say I cannot understand what he did. I have just seen it and all the people in the other car were doing were chanting 2-1, 2-1....it was a bit of harmless banter.
"I don't like to be the hangman and I'll let other people decide (whether he should be sacked), but it was a pretty shocking thing to do and there was a young 14-year-old girl in the other car. In any circumstances, I'd be ashamed if I'd done that.
"If you are an analyst and hold a high profile position that involves critiquing other people's opinion, it is very hard to get that image out of your mind. I don't like to wish bad on anybody, but I find it puzzling."
Dunphy reflected on his own experience as he suffered abuse following his criticism of Jack Chartlon during his reign as Ireland manager, as he insisted those in a prominent position have a duty to refrain from reacting to abuse.
"I went through 10-15 years of it here during the Jack Charlton years and terrible things happened to me and my family, but I never did anything other than smile and accept that people have a right to express their views, even when it was pretty nasty. You can't do that."
Sky's broadcast of the Premier League game between Stoke and Manchester City proceeded without Carragher's input, as the broadcaster abandoned their usual format on Monday night's as presenter Dave Jones and pundit Gary Neville moved out of the studio and did the broadcast directly from the Bet365 Stadium.
Now they need to make a final call on what they do with Carragher, who made an emotional apology following his loss of control on Sky News on Monday.
It was "a moment of madness" says Jamie Carragher after being filmed spitting at a fan's car after being heckled pic.twitter.com/cHxpE9v7GI— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 12, 2018