Richard Keys has quit his job as the anchorman of Sky’s football coverage following the sexism scandal that has already seen his colleague and friend Andy Gray get the sack.
Keys, who has been synonymous with Sky Sports football coverage since it began, handed in his resignation, citing “dark forces” within who had forced him out.
Keys rang female linesman Sian Massey to apologise about the disparaging remarks he made, and agreed to put the matter to bed with the official, but was prevented from making his apology public by the broadcaster.
He described the remarks as typical lads banter, and went on to say, “I am deeply sorry for my remarks and the offence they have caused; it was wrong and should not have happened. I have thought long and hard and reached the decision that it is time to move on,” Keys said in a statement released by Sky Sports.
“Going forward without Andy would have been almost impossible. I am and will remain proud of our work with football at Sky Sports and grateful to the many people who have worked with me. I wish Sky Sports continued success in the future.”
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports was saddened by the news, “It is disappointing that Richard’s career at Sky should end in these circumstances. However, Richard recognises that his comments at the weekend were unacceptable and we note that he has made a full and public apology.
“We thank him for his time in helping make Sky Sports the success it is today.”
Both Keys and Gray believe that there was a witch hunt to get rid of them. Two video’s containing off air comments were leaked to the media yesterday, further stoking the fire and compounding their positions.
Keys tried defending himself on TalkSport, telling them, “There are some dark forces at work here.
“I rang Sian on Sunday an apologised. I realised how deeply wrong we were. Having done that I asked ‘could we make people aware that of that fact we had a conversation and that both parties felt it was right to move on’. I was told ‘no’.
“Then 24 hours had past by which time the world had gone mad. I don’t know why I was told ‘no’ and stopped from telling people what I had done.”
Is it right that people can be fired for off air comments, ones found in every office and company up and down the country, and was it the media witch hunt that secured their fate?