Plus ça change at Sky


by Rumbold
26th January, 2011 at 9:38 am    

Sky pundit Andy Gray, already under pressure following his sexist comments about a female assistant referee and women in general, has been sacked by Sky after new footage emerged of a previous incident where he made sexually suggestive comments to another presenter. Given that his views and behaviour are fairly typical, he was unlucky in that he got caught, with others who have no doubt said similar things now distancing themselves from him. The search for his replacement is underway, and who is in the running (though not the favourite) to fill his shoes, but Glenn Hoddle, who had this to say about disabled people when England manager:

“You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and half-decent brains,” he was quoted as saying. “Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime.” I have nothing to hide about that. It is not only people with disabilities. What you sow, you have to reap.”


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Filed in: Disability,Sex equality






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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Plus ça change at Sky http://bit.ly/hUdAV8


  2. Why Glen Hoddle Should NOT Replace Andy Gray At Sky Sports « Same Difference

    [...] is a guest post by Rumbold. Thanks to Rumbold, who originally posted this at Pickled Politics this [...]


  3. 50 Million Missing

    Sky fires employee for overtly sexist comments! The fight is on! http://bit.ly/hUdAV8


  4. sridhar krishna

    RT @50millionmissin: Sky fires employee for overtly sexist comments! The fight is on! http://bit.ly/hUdAV8




  1. Kismet Hardy — on 26th January, 2011 at 10:03 am  

    All men who condone league-based professional competitive sports are a bunch of fucking hypocrites (pardon my french, but I kind of ran away with the ‘ça change’ thing). Anyhoo…

    All the major sports are played by men. Women aren’t allowed a look-in. Sure they’re given their own league, but what year is this? If women are strong enough to catch criminals in the street or blow up foreigners from the air, are you really telling me they’re not tough enough to whup a bloke with a ball and a racket, or pot one in a hole with a stick, or kick one into a net?

    Bollocks. Sports is sexist. Putting the odd fit woman in to read some scores doesn’t make it less so.

    Until men and women can play together on the same level, professional sports is a man’s world.

    This ‘ooh I can’t believe one of our own would stoop so low’ hysteria men are spouting is a bunch of prolapse

  2. Unity — on 26th January, 2011 at 10:45 am  

    If women are strong enough to catch criminals in the street or blow up foreigners from the air, are you really telling me they’re not tough enough to whup a bloke with a ball and a racket, or pot one in a hole with a stick, or kick one into a net?

    If the sport relies heavily on physicality then yes, that is what you’re being told and its an assertion that can be readily justified in empirical terms.

    The current world record for the Men’s 100M sprint is 9.58 seconds and the very best male sprinters regularly run under 10 seconds.

    The women’s world record for the same event is 10.49 seconds (subject to long-standing suspicions that it may have been drug-assisted).

    The figures don’t lie, I’m afraid.

    Female athletes may well be as ‘tough’ and skillful as their male counterparts but rarely, if ever, is that sufficient to overcome, in direct competition, the other biological differences between men and women which, in matters of raw physicality, give men an clear and, to date, insurmountable advantage.

  3. justforfun — on 26th January, 2011 at 10:56 am  

    Kismet – I’m all for multisex mud wrestling. But can I just watch :-)

    Most sports are skewed in the male’s favour – look at the BAGCAT system for swimming. Girls have to swim faster times than boys to get the same points. Until testosterone kicks girls are faster and better swimmers so the BAGCAT score reflect this and demand faster times from girls. In junior swimming the girls are the star performers without compromises.

    Rumbold – you know better than most that Hoddle’s view is his attempt at reconciling the world around him using re-incarnation and karma to explain the injustices of this world.

    Do you now think that there are ‘thought crimes’? Did he act on his beliefs?

    I do notice you left off the end of the quote. He seems to have taken the concept of personal responsibility and extrapolated it into previous lives for all people, not just the born disabled. Is this just a form of extremism or is it being very pious in ones beliefs?

    “……The karma is working from another lifetime. I have nothing to hide about that. It is not only people with disabilities. What you sow, you have to reap.”

    His view is not compassionate and he seems to believe in a vengeful universe, but then alot of religions believe that and blood thirsty followers hope that ‘vengeance’ as an idea is a manifestation of the divine. Thank God for atheism !!

    So what is your point?

    justforfun

  4. jamal — on 26th January, 2011 at 11:01 am  

    andy gray is old school and sexist as they come, he deserves the sack no excuses. Like rumbold mentions he was unlucky or more likely he got stitched up by murdochs news corp. In a separate case gray is suing news of the world in the phone hacking scandal many have made the link coincidence or what!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/18/news-world-andy-gray-password

  5. justforfun — on 26th January, 2011 at 11:01 am  

    Rumbold – I am an idiot – my apologies my claiming you left off the end of the quote. It says more about me than you.

    justforfun

  6. Kismet Hardy — on 26th January, 2011 at 11:03 am  

    Unity, to disagree with you on the difference in physical capability would be insane, but the point is, even if you’re a brilliant football player who is a woman, you can’t join the team because it’s for men only. Ergo, sexist. Ergo, this fuss about people involved in this sexist domain revealing themselves to be sexist doesn’t justify the high shock factor

  7. justforfun — on 26th January, 2011 at 11:11 am  

    You are correct Kismet – FA rules only allow girls to play in mixed teams at U11 age groups and below, and once above 12 they are segregated. So even if a girl is the best player in a U11 mini-soccer team (which is quite and often possible at 11) she has to go to a U12 girls team when they start 11 aside football and the facilities and opportunities are not so great.

    justforfun

  8. Rumbold — on 26th January, 2011 at 11:45 am  

    JFF:

    You got so excited about talking to me that you didn’t finish reading it. I understand, and forgive you.

    The article was about the replacement on one person for saying something offensive with another person for saying something offensive.

    The belief that people with disabilities are being punished is a widespread view, particularly in Asia. I have seen the results for myself when I went to India (when the disabled were segregated in a temple and not allowed to speak to anyone else), and someone else spoke of the situation in Thailand were disabled babies are routinely abandoned.

    I regard anyone who holds the view that the disabled are being punished for past sins as scum. Yes, actions are more important than words, but words contribute to an environment where disabled babies are abandoned and the disabled are routinely looked down upon and mocked.

  9. damon — on 26th January, 2011 at 4:21 pm  

    For the contrarian point of view you don’t have to look further than Spiked’s sports commentator.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10124/

    The opinions expressed by Keys and Gray are undoubtedly offensive. But, although these views were expressed at work, they weren’t intended to be on the record and therefore public. Even neanderthals have a right to share a bit of caveman humour in private. The shocking thing about their subsequent trial by social media is that it represents a new and insidious form of tyranny.

  10. Rumbold — on 26th January, 2011 at 4:44 pm  

    I didn’t know you read Spiked Damon?

  11. Don — on 26th January, 2011 at 5:21 pm  

    I regard anyone who holds the view that the disabled are being punished for past sins as scum.

    Seconded.

    Kismet/JFF

    My daughter played football as a youngster and was generally the only girl on the pitch. When her team won the local U11 championship she was named ‘Player of the Season’. We still have the trophy.

    The following year she was restricted to the girls’ team, but there weren’t enough girls to form a team so that was the end of football.

    Not really relevant, just wanted to do some retrospective boasting.

  12. Danyal — on 26th January, 2011 at 5:38 pm  

    Isn’t the belief about karma and disability Glenn Hoddle said the standard orthodox one in Buddhism and Hinduism.

  13. Danyal — on 26th January, 2011 at 5:39 pm  

    ” Rumbold — on 26th January, 2011 at 4:44 pm  
    I didn’t know you read Spiked Damon?”

    Didn’t know he could read!

  14. Don — on 26th January, 2011 at 6:24 pm  

    Danyal,

    Re: Buddhism and disability. Is it? I’ve known many buddhists and have spent time in monasteries and never found that to be an issue. I have a buddhist friend with severe MS who is a wheelchair user and she was invited to meet the Dalai Lama by the monastery she frequents. I’m sure there are schools of thought that hold to that, but is it actually mainstream?

    Some references would be helpful.

    Certainly I have never heard a buddhist, whether a western convert or an asian ‘cradle’ buddhist express such an idea.

  15. MaidMarian — on 26th January, 2011 at 6:49 pm  

    As so often, spiked is right, even if it overeggs the pudding.

    This just shows the problems that arise with our institutionalised offence. In the past, ideas of equality and diversity were mechanisms by which we addressed material disadvantage due to a priori moral condemnation. Now, it seems, we feel that we have a right to know what is in people’s heads and judge them on it.

    Tyranny? No. But there is something here that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Still – I much prefer Jeff Stelling.

  16. Don — on 26th January, 2011 at 7:36 pm  

    MM,

    But it wasn’t in his head. As the links show.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuPMFvuYcvk&feature=player_embedded

    ‘Tuck it in for me, love.’?

    If that is how he routinely talks to female colleagues and refers to female professionals in his chosen field then he may have already been flagged as a creep.

    Obviously I don’t know the background, but I have worked with people who reflect that brand of creepiness and I think it is right that organisations make it clear that it’s simply not on in the workplace.

    I think a serious discussion about his attitude rather than sacking should have been the first resort. But I don’t know if he has already had that discussion.

    Is this the same one who referred to a fellow commentator’s ex-girlfriend as ‘it’ and asked if he had ‘smashed it’?

  17. MaidMarian — on 26th January, 2011 at 7:50 pm  

    Don – True, though the point remains that (for whatever reason) it would appear that there have been no formal complaints, at least none that I can see that have so far been reported.

    I am quite sure that the bloke is a creep, probably I would not want to work with him. All I was getting at is that I can see the point being made in the Spiked article, even if Gray/Keys is not a particularly good illustration.

  18. sarah — on 26th January, 2011 at 7:51 pm  

    I was driving to school the day that happened when it came on the radio in the morning news. It’s been in my head ever since. It returned when I saw that he was on MSN’s list of 10 replacements: http://sport.uk.msn.com/football/back-of-the-net/photos.aspx?cp-documentid=155974324 and I thought ‘Not Glen Hoddle, please Sky, not Glen Hoddle.’

    Cross posting to SD by the way. Thanks Rumbold!

  19. damon — on 26th January, 2011 at 8:53 pm  

    I didn’t know you read Spiked Damon?

    :) Ha Ha. Yes well. Now and again Rumbold.

    I just thought it might show a different point of view.
    There are different points of view sometimes that go against mainstream left/liberal thinking which aren’t necessarily those of the Daily Mail ghetto variety.
    Although that is where liberal/left activists will often try to place them.

    You can think that what Andy Gray said was out of order, without agreeing that he should have been sacked. People who do hundreds of hours of live broadcasts are always going to be at risk of getting caught out saying something offensive some time or other.

    Radio talk show hosts who speak live on air three hours a day, five days a week, are particularly at risk. From their own mouths, but it’s an occupational hazard.

    Jon Gaunt and Don Imus were two examples.

  20. Don — on 26th January, 2011 at 9:01 pm  

    At risk?

  21. damon — on 26th January, 2011 at 9:59 pm  

    At risk?

    Yes Don. Particularly if they are doing live radio.

  22. KJB — on 27th January, 2011 at 12:56 am  

    Second Don and Rumbold. People who use the karma ‘argument’ to ‘justify’ their hatred of disabled people can fuck right off. It is something I’ve heard my parents (who are Sikh – meant to be a rational religion) express.

    While I can understand carers of disabled people becoming frustrated at times, we seem to feel we have this ‘right’ in society to dehumanise disabled people. I have been guilty of this, and I am sure I will use words like ‘spazz’ or ‘retarded’ again – for which I will apologise not with words, but actions.

    In the past, ideas of equality and diversity were mechanisms by which we addressed material disadvantage due to a priori moral condemnation. Now, it seems, we feel that we have a right to know what is in people’s heads and judge them on it.

    Tyranny? No. But there is something here that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    I seem to remember you mentioning this bad taste before, MaidMarian. Try Listerine, or breath mints.

    As for the rest of your comment – try a time machine, dear. You seem not to have got the memo, which doesn’t surprise me. Those of us who want equal treatment want that in its fullest sense, and ‘material disadvantage’ is only a part of it.

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