Lee Dixon: Gray and Keys comments belong in the dark ages. Sexism is as bad as racism
Saturday 29 January 2011
There is no difference in my mind between discriminating against people because of their race or because of their gender.
That is why I have little sympathy with Andy Gray and Richard Keys over the way they left Sky in the wake of their sexist remarks about the assistant referee Sian Massey before last week's game between Wolves and Liverpool.
Their actions and what was said were wrong and unacceptable. That's why they had to lose their jobs. I am pretty sure they would not have said anything racist, so why did they say something sexist? There is no difference in my book.
Football is a male-dominated world but people should be judged on their hard work and ability. It really doesn't matter what sex they are. It wasn't all that long ago that there weren't any women in politics but that soon changed. It may take time but there is no reason why it shouldn't be the same in football.
What Gray and Keys said was taking football back to the dark ages and was totally out of order. Thankfully I don't think their opinion is indicative of the prevailing attitude towards women in the game.
Gabby Logan is a close friend of mine and I have worked with her a lot. I am pretty sure if you talk to her she will say there will have been difficult times when she was trying to break into a male-dominated world. But she has shown herself to be a first-class broadcaster in her own right.
You don't call her a woman broadcaster, she is just a broadcaster, and a very good one at that. Gabby has proved herself, just as Dan Walker has on Football Focus. You have to go through the process of earning your stripes. In the same way, Sian Massey must be given the chance to be judged purely on her ability as an assistant referee, not ridiculed for being a woman.
There is absolutely no excuse for what Gray and Keys said last week. Everybody should be judged on their ability to do the job in hand.
That's it. Full stop.
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