Gray and Keys names maybe dirt, but why does Sky still seem so squeaky clean?

Now, I have spoken to female journalists, we have some on the team, and to others over Twitter about this subject. The response was pretty much the same from everywhere: that the main story regarding Keys and Gray was no surprise, as those who work in football know this is the score in a male dominated environment.

Gray and Keys are relics of a time that is now gone, people who have been at the top, who pioneered football broadcasting since the start of the Premier League – sometimes these guys are the hardest to change and live in the past. I think Gray was rightly sacked, if you use an ‘ism’ you are playing with fire. 

Ron Atkinson is a prime example, and rightly so. But is Keys any better? Not really, luckily for him not much has come out of the woodwork other than the ‘smashing’ video, a show of the depths men sink to when seeking acceptance and the desire most men have to be seen as one of ‘the lads’. Burton will escape this time with a lessoned learned, but he was just being a typical football male. Men in general are like this, ok maybe not everyone, but a high percentage. And girls (who don’t know this) when you’re not around, the male to male banter is different – I bet about 90% of males at the game Saturday or watching Sian Massey on TV asked themselves one question …

The thing that really gets me in this whole saga is Sky’s hypocrisy. Sky’s use of the ‘sex sells’ theory to target the male audience is blatant. A Sky Sports advert (above) used to promote the launch of Sky Sports News in HD is very ‘sexy’. Soccer AM has a ‘Soccerette’ every week that wears heals, short shorts, undresses down to a skimpy t-shirt that has a suggestive slogan across the mid-chest area, and sometimes bounces on a trampoline. Also if you ever watch Sky Sports News, you will notice a plethora of beautiful women … mostly blonde.  The bottom line here is women are presented as little more than sexual objects, shoved in front of the camera to up the viewing figures.  How can this be right?

All you men piping up about their disgust at what has happened have probably watched a Sky Sports production that featured such ladies, and thought ‘she’s a bit of alright’…all you overly ‘PC’ guys, ‘do me a favour’!

However, I think that although hypocritical, Sky Sports had to set a precedence, Sky Sports is a sport based environment, but at the end of the day it is still a place of work like any office or other work environment.  Whether the ‘mics’ are on or off, the studio is a workplace with rules, there must have been women on the production team, therefore Keys and Gray should have known better and the comments towards Massey were unacceptable. They should have also thought that some people will not agree with such views and they could cause offence.

It is not the first time they have been caught out either, slagging off Walcott for his performance whilst wearing  pink boots, and there have been a couple of other occasions, so they should have learnt by now … maybe they thought they had the trust of their colleagues, maybe they thought they were untouchable.

Sky Sports has always shamelessly catered for the male viewer, especially on Sky Sports News, and having girls like Charlotte Jackson (above) around male dominated environments will always cause a stir. She may like the banter as much as the men, she may hate it – point is we don’t know, but it is obvious at some stage someone at Sky has taken offense. Could Sky’s ‘Sex Sells’ (even thought they don’t admit it) policy be one of the main contributors to the downfall of Keys and Gray?

The bottom line is this whole story should never have been leaked to the press,  it should have stayed ‘in house’, the main reason being - that it has probably ruined the career of Sian Massey, who will never shake off this stigma of being ‘that’ female assistant referee.

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Gray and Keys names maybe dirt…but why does Sky still seem so squeaky clean? « News « Football Rascal | For the fans -- Topsy.com

  2. stables kid says:

    Great article Claus. it really does pose a lot of questions for how Sky position themselves going forward. Be interesting to see how they treat the Soccerette on Saturday, or if they drop the feature altogether?! They’ve set a precedent now.

  3. Dave T says:

    I hope they don’t take away Soccerette or change the SSN presenters – only reason I like to watch! Sorry girls if you shout me down for being sexist, I feel like I am in a PC driven glass box now.

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