During Liverpool's 3-0 win over Wolves on Saturday, Sky Sports pundits Andy Gray and Richard Keys had a sexist little conversation about women in football and the match's female assistant referee, Sian Massey. To their ignorant misfortune, their microphones were on the whole time.
The paper that revels in punishing public figures for saying the wrong thing, the Daily Mail, was the first to publish the pair's remarks (NSFW audio clip here) and, as you can imagine, they're really, really dumb.
Commenting on Ms Massey, Mr Keys said: ‘Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.’
Mr Gray, a former Scottish international footballer, replied: ‘Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule.’
Mr Keys replied: ‘Course they don’t. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny (Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish) will go potty. This isn’t the first time, is it? Didn’t we have one before?’
Later in the exchange, Mr Keys said: ‘The game’s gone mad. Did you hear charming [vice-chairwoman of West Ham] Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Do me a favour, love.’
Contrary to Keys' guarantee, Massey -- in her second Premier League appointment -- correctly ruled Raul Meireles onside for the match's first goal and by all accounts had a very good game.
So what did Keys have to say about this?
When The Mail on Sunday put the transcript to Mr Keys, he said: ‘I have no recollection of that. I have no idea what you are talking about.
'My recollection is that I wished the young lady all the best.’
When told a recording existed of the conversation, he said: ‘If you have a tape then you don’t need me to talk to you.’
This is far from the first time either of these guys have said stupid things in the presence of microphones. Andy Gray recently said that Barcelona would struggle against Stoke and Blackburn. Keys, meanwhile, has a growing list of instances where he's been caught by a live mic. Following a Euro 2008 qualifying match between the Faroe Islands and Scotland, Keys didn't realize he was on the air when he made sweary and dismissive remarks about the game (video here). And he called Theo Walcott a "stupid little boy ... in daft pink boots" during a Champions League match between Arsenal and Barcelona. He also asked, "Who's farted."
Since their wrongheaded opinions probably won't change, their best bet at this point is to just not say anything at all when in the general vicinity of microphones. Or, better yet, Sky should just take their microphones away entirely. Then everybody wins!
UPDATE: Sky Sports confirmed that Keys and Gray will not work Monday night's match between Chelsea and Bolton.
UPDATE II: Keys has apologized to Massey. She accepted it and says she wants to move on. Andy Gray, meanwhile, has been caught saying essentially the same things he did to Keys earlier in the day while preparing to tape an interview with Sky Sports reporter Andy Burton (1:00 into the clip below).