Andy Gray’s sexist comments cost him his job as Sky Sport’s number one commentator for their football broadcasts last year, and now his remarks have also cost him his place on the FIFA 2012 commentating team.
Gray, the former Aston Villa striker, was caught off gaurd when cameras were left rolling, dismissing the abilities of the Premier League’s first female linesman, Sian Massey. “What do women know about the offside rule?” he was recorded as saying.
It was the last in an apparently long line of sexist remarks that Gray was said to have made concerning female colleagues.
Though FIFA 2012 publishers EA games had initially followed Gray’s sacking by simply saying that they had “not made any announcements about our in-game commentators for FIFA for 2012”, it’s now proved that Gray is surplus to requirements without his position front-and-centre of the Sky Sports commentating team.
Replacing Gray alongside long-running partner Martin Tyler (who has resultingly recorded more commentary tracks than usual for the game) will now be former Leicester and Arsenal star Alan Smith. There will also be the option to have the Clive Tyldesley/Andy Townsend commentary partnership, last seen in the 2010 World Cup edition of FIFA, for all games, whereas they’ve previously only commentated in-game on tournament matches.
It’s a pity it turned out this way. While Gray’s comments were totally out of order, it has to be noted that his partnership with Martin Tyler over the years for the FIFA games has lead to some of the best in-game commentary to ever grace a football video game. In our poll at the time, a majority of 44% of Tech Digest readers wanted Gray to keep his job with FIFA. Here’s hoping the new-comers can adequately fill the role that Gray had very much made his own then.