Keys and Gray dumped from Chelsea match
Published 12:15 24/01/11 By Steve Anglesey
Sky Sports have dumped Andy Gray and Richard Keys from tonight's Monday Night Football show over their sexist comments about Premier League official Sian Massey.
The move is seen as a major punishment for the pair, who were recorded off-camera claiming that female officials "don't know the offside rule" and making derogatory remarks about West Ham's Karren Brady.
Sky's game tonight sees champions Chelsea go to high-flying Bolton and Sky's lead pairing would normally have been working at such an important fixture. Instead they have been handed a one match ban and a Sky statement later today is expected to confirm that any similar actions would not be tolerated.
Gray and Keys, whose taped remarks included a claim that Kenny Dalglish would go "potty" at Massey's appointment, were ridiculed by the Liverpool manager at his press conference this morning.
He began by asking Sky Sports' representative whether he was happy that there were female journalists present.
Earlier, Brady had said that the broadcasters' remarks "made my blood boil", while former referee Graham Poll launched an outspoken attack on Keys in his newspaper column.
He wrote: "The last time I had the temerity to criticise Keys and Gray for their puerile and unfair attack on referee Uriah Rennie, Keys phoned me and abused me for doing so.
"He told me I was punching above my weight and he left me with the impression I wasn’t wanted at Sky. That showed the man’s true colours.
"Between the two of them they prevent free speech and thought as any adverse comments are quashed by them."
Reaction on the web was split between condemnation, jokes and conspiracy theories.
The popular Football Ramble podcast quipped "just heard that tonight's guest on Monday Night Football is to be Mel Gibson", while on message boards fans claimed Gray may have been "stitched up" by a Sky employee in revenge for him suing the News Of The World for alleged phone-tapping.
Gray's action, being heard in conjunction with one brought by comedian Steve Coogan, led to the resignation of former NOTW editor Andy Coulson as Prime Minister David Cameron's spin doctor last Friday.
Sky sources could not initially be contacted for comment.