Sexism in Sports Journalism and the Media: Time To Bring on the New Kids?

True BlueCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2011

All male, all white.
All male, all white.

Yet again there is talk in the media in the UK about an ism.

Recently, the BBC lost a case for ageism which was actually brought by a female presenter. It proved that the people making decisions on who we, the viewer, should see on our screens are out of touch.

Now we are talking about two middle-aged, arrogant men who already have a history of being disparaging towards women's football have been at it again.

The men in question are Richard Keys, and ex-professional footballer Andy Gray.

On this occasion, the furor about their apparently misogynistic attitudes has occurred in the age of Twitter and the pressure on them seems pretty unstoppable.

What these two seem to have missed is that they are no longer the prime example of the viewing public, Keys (53) and Gray (55) have been in place for far too long to be in touch with who their audience is.

Gray and Keys are living in the past, have attitudes to match and perhaps the people who employ them will now see beyond the technology they have developed in their self-proclaimed drive to being the UK's best sports broadcaster.

Sky has introduced many things in the broadcasting of sport to the UK, the most recent being 3D Live TV.

That all seems rather hollow now when you consider that the people who are given voices on the station feel that in order to play, officiate or maybe even comment on sport you must be firstly male and preferably in your middle age.

But is it purely arrogance on the part of long-term incumbents or a real problem for football?

I think it is somewhere in the middle.

There is a group of people currently on screen and on radio who need to be moved on because they are not representative of the audience they serve.

Radio 5 live, the UK's most listened to sports radio station still employs the racist and inflammatory Alan Green; a man who is even more out of step than Keys and Gray.

These three are real examples of broadcasters who should be put out to pasture, including broadcasters who are not only sexist, racist and arrogant but also unprofessional.

But the next question will be, who else is there?

For what seems like forever, the UK has been churning out thousands of graduates in 'Sports Media' and yet we have to rely on Keys, Gray and Green.

Surely now we should promote at least one person who is neither white, nor middle aged and perhaps even female?

I personally would welcome anyone who is not like Keys, Gray or Green.

Rio Ferdinand, England's football captain, has Tweeted today that the attitudes held and espoused by Gray and Keys are not welcome and of the dinosaur age. 

But for all the noise that was made by the public and the retrenchment by the Sky management it is for me hugely informative as to the attitudes at Sky to this issue when you watch this season's promotional video for their football service.

It is all white, all male and all about sexism if you ask me.

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