Written by Media, Sport

Sexism and Sky Sports

Tonight Richard Keys has resigned from Sky Sports following a last ditch attempt to apologise in the form of an interview on Talksport this afternoon (Kudos to Talksport for getting that interview). He joins Andy Gray who’s already gone.
There are lots of interesting question raised in this affair.
How sexist is the regime at Sky Sports? I think this piece in today’s Guardian sheds a lot of light on how things operated there. And all three clips that have so far emerged were not broadcast. That means at least one individual, and possibly more, who works at Sky Sports, has been incensed enough to dig out the footage. From Sky’s point of view, this is can’t be acceptable in the workplace. The writing was on the wall as soon as the clips emerged. I wonder what will happen internally at Sky Sports? Is there a hunt on for the leaker?
But Sky management can’t be completely blameless. What place to “soccerettes” really have on Soccer AM? And there was undoubtedly a policy of hiring a certain kind of presenter on Sky Sports News. Remember this video from last summer promoting the channel’s move to HD? Low-cut leathers for the female presenters while the men get sharp suits. Hmm.
I wouldn’t like to pretend that sexism in football is limited to parts of Sky Sports though. I suspect that if you look around enough, you’ll find it in plenty of areas of the game. But this whole incident might drag a few individuals kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
I suspect that Rupert Murdoch is fuming right now. While he tries to use all his influence to ensure that Jeremy Hunt doesn’t refer his desire to buy the remainder of BSkyB that he doesn’t own, he’s also facing the ongoing mobile phone hacking row that will not die. The Sky Sports issue is completely separate, but all told, there’s far too much of Sky being the news rather than reporting the news.
The phone hacking story is clearly going to run and run, with more individuals at the News of the World surely being implicated. The suspended Ian Edmondson has been sacked, and I wouldn’t surprised to see more. I also think that it’s highly likely that a lot more about the “dark arts” is going to be revealed, and it won’t be limited to the News of the World. If phone hacking was happening there, it was happening elsewhere, and that’s almost certainly why the other tabloids have been reluctant to report this story fully.

[As ever, these are my own views, and don’t represent those of my employer. Not that my employer is sexist. Our HR team might have something to say if it were.]