In our confusing, difficult modern world of structural discrimination, implicit bias, and gender identity politics, do you ever find yourself nostalgic for some good old-fashioned blatant sexism to get your teeth into? No, thought not, and there’s plenty of it around anyway. But just in case, here is a recording of some spectacularly unreconstructed sexism from Sky Sports’ main football commentating team, Andy Gray and Richard Keys (and here’s a transcript of that slightly fuzzy recording, along with some context and discussion).
For those too fatigued to follow links, the charming pair discuss the assistant referee Sian Massey, who was on duty for her second Premiership game on Saturday. They conclude that she must be unable to understand the offside rule, owing to her having, y’know, breasts and stuff. Or maybe it’s because she can’t reason spatially? Something like that. As a bonus, there’s a dig at Karren Brady, the West Ham deputy chair, for complaining about (of all things) sexism in football. We even get “the game’s gone mad”! It’s the glory glory days all over again.
Professional football is a reliable bastion of bigotry in all its forms, but in the UK at least, racism is commendably rare, and pundits have been sacked in the past for being daft enough to express racist views into live microphones. Will Sky treat sexism seriously? Don’t hold your breath.
By the way, as Keys predicted, there was a “big one” in the game — a crucial decision for Massey to make, relying on acute awareness, perfect positioning, and knowledge of that pesky offside thing. And guess what? She got it right! Must have been a fluke.