Andy Gray claimed that women didn’t understand the offside rule. Richard Keys responded, straight faced, no wry smile, by saying “of course they don’t.”
If we’re honest, there’s more evidence to suggest blokes don’t understand the offside rule, given how frequently male referee’s assistants get such vital calls wrong. Regardless, there’s no reason why a woman would have greater difficult grasping this very simple rule than men, white people, black people, Asian people, or anyone else. Whilst there are more men who enjoy watching football than women, that doesn’t negate the fact that understanding the offside rule is out a a woman’s capacity. To suggest that not just a woman, but a woman who was judged fit enough to run the line in a Premiership game, isn’t capable of understanding the offside rule is quite frankly embarrassing.
Rio Ferdinand voiced the opinion of so many once the footage of Gray and Keys pathetic conversation was revealed. “I’m all for women refereeing in football,” he said. “Discrimination should not happen in our game at all… prehistoric views if you think otherwise. Did anyone see the decision the lineswoman made? Top decision.”
Keys has gone on to talkSPORT radio today to fight his corner, claiming to be so sorry and that the comments were just meant as banter. It’s quite clear to anyone who has seen the footage this wasn’t a bit of a laugh and a joke or an opinion they don’t actually have (not that it would make a massive difference regardless, given their profession) and to think the public will be so easily conned is ridiculous.
Anyway, as part of his decence, Keys claims that Rio has no room to talk, because the Manchester United dressing room are of the same opinion as Gray and himself.
“I noticed Rio Ferdinand tweeted and said prehistoric banter, no place for it,” he said. “Rio, are you telling me it does not take place in the Manchester United dressing room? Because, my information says it does. Now that is not to say its right Andy. It is not to say it is right. There is a wider conversation here about is it sexist, is it Lads Mag banter. Is there a place for it? That is not for me to judge and this is not the time for that conversation.”
Rio isn’t the brightest spark but he can reckon the idiocy of Gray and Keys’ conversation. I’d like to think this opinion was echoed by the dressing room. But on what grounds does Keys think he can claim Manchester United players think that women don’t understand the offside rule?
It wasn’t just assistant ref Sian Massey on the end of Key’s criticism though, with Karen Brady also got a mention.
“Did you hear that charming Karren Brady complaining about sexism? Do me a favour, love.”
I know, how disgraceful for Brady to complain about sexism when it’s so apparent it doesn’t exist in our game?
In Keys’ interview today, he exposes his idiocy even further, when claiming he can’t understand why Brady wouldn’t want to talk to him.
“I tried to ring Karen twice on Sunday night,” he said. “She didn’t answer the phone. There is no answer phone on Karen’s mobile. That may be a sign of the times at West Ham I don’t know. There is no answer phone on Karen’s phone. So I texted her in case she saw a number she saw a number she was unfamiliar with and did not want to answer it. I said Karen it is Richard Keyes. I very much need to talk to you. Could you please take my call or ring me back. Now she chose not to. I do not know why.”
Of course, why wouldn’t Brady want to speak to Keys? He clearly is such a charming and respectful man, you’d think every woman is sitting around at home waiting by the phone for this fine specimen to ring.
More video footage has been released, with grown man Keys talking like a horny 16-year-old who’d never been laid, in a conversation with Jamie Redknapp. “Did you smash it?” he repeatedly asked Redknapp, before claiming that he was “always hanging out of the back of it.” Cringe. Lads will be lads and all that, this isn’t another example of his sexism, but it another example of his utterly moronic and embarrassing nature.
Richard Keys, what a wanker.
edit. Keys has resigned since this article was published.