Sky Sports football presenter Keys’ wife defends his sexist jibes as “boys’ banter”

Friday, January 28, 2011

LONDON - Sky Sports football presenter Richard Keys, who resigned from his 500,000 pounds-a-year job over a sexism scandal, has been defended by his wife, who dismissed his sexist jibes at women as “boys’ banter”.

Keys announced his resignation on Wednesday, just 24 hours after his co-presenter Andy Gray had been sacked from his 1.7 million pounds-a-year job, following the pair’s sexist remarks about female Premier League match official Sian Massey.

Sky Sports had terminated Gray’s contract for “unacceptable and offensive behaviour”.

However, seeking to excuse his behaviour, Keys’ wife Julia said: “With men there are little bits of you that never grow up.”

“It’s banter from the boys. What other people do not understand is the dynamics that go on in the studio.”

“He [Richard] is very aware of the tensions that there are and it not being as relaxed as it would be unless there were playful shenanigans,” she added.

Julia also accused Sky Sports of “giving the wrong two guys the red card”.

“It’s really sad. They contributed so much, putting Sky on the map. Whether you like them personally or not, professionally there’s very few who would knock them,” Julia said.

“It doesn’t quite make sense in a way and it’s questionable the way it has been handled. I think Sky was offside in the way it handled it. It’s very sad after the career Richard has had that it has come to this, but I do not see it as being the end of it,” she added.

Keys, who has been the face of Sky Sports’ football coverage for 20 years, and Gray were originally suspended after they were recorded making sexist remarks off-air about Massey before the Premier League game between Wolverhampton and Liverpool on Saturday.

Further evidence then emerged of Gray making suggestive remarks to co-host Charlotte Jackson and Keys talking about an ex-girlfriend of Jamie Redknapp in deeply misogynist terms. (ANI)

Filed under: Football

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