David Mitchell has written a column about the Sky football commentators who he describes as “victims of their own breathtaking arrogance.” I don’t know how many of you will be aware of the background to the column but it is an example of one where the writer takes a clear stance on a topical issue and he doesn’t pull his punches.
I have added some if it below but read the whole thing on the Guardian site here.
“The game’s gone mad,” says Richard Keys.
“I know. Women just don’t understand the offside rule.”
“Course they don’t, Andy.”
“It’s to do with wombs, probably.”
“The offside rule?”
“No, not understanding it.”
“Thank God for that.”
“A female linesman – it’s lunacy. But nobody seems to realise, Rich- I mean, Napoleon.”
“Apart from us, mon empereur. It’s madness.”
“OK, we’re on air in 30 seconds. Are you going to take the hat off?”
“The general’s hat? Don’t see why.”
“I won’t either then. Why should I? It’s PC gone mad. Twenty seconds.”
“Have you ever met one who understood it?”
“No, they just wave the flag at random, like a cheerleader. Ten seconds.”
“I think I will take the hat off, actually.”
Let’s leave aside the avalanche of subsequent revelations and go back to the initial leaked recording, because nothing more clearly reveals the bizarre mental world that football commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys have been inhabiting. They’re Napoleon and the rest of us are too insane to realise. They knew they had to keep this knowledge a secret or the lunatics would turn on them and so it has proved.
A few apologists defended their first remarks as merely humorous. Former England women’s cricket captain Rachael Heyhoe Flint said: “These were tongue-in-cheek comments and we are blowing something enormously out of proportion here.” But when you listen to that recording, it’s not tongue in cheek at all. Their criticisms of female assistant referee Sian Massey are marked, as Gabby Logan wrote in the Times, with a “total lack of laughter”…