War Minus the Shooting: Gray Areas

by Leonard Pierce

So Andy Gray, the voice of Sky Sports for two decades and one of the most familiar announcers in soccer, has been sacked.  He takes with him his hench-creature Richard Keys, along withany pretense that soccer announcers are any less cretinous than the voices of American sporting events.  Gray (who will be familiar even to the most casual American fans of international football thanks to his frequent appearances as the stock voice of FIFA video games) shared with Keys a grasp of the game that translated to extremely dull and predictable commentary; he also, unsurprisingly, shared with Keys a good-old-lads clubhouse sexism and an inflated sense of his invulnerability.  This was the quality that led the two of them to make some extremely impolitic remarks, both on and off the air, about a female referee, a lineswoman, and a female West Ham executive. (Of course, he’s been trashing refs and execs his whole career, in his half-assed way; but these folks he attacked for no other reason than that eternal sportsman’s sin, the lack of a penis.)

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