Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys has resigned over sexist remarks he and colleague Andy Gray made about a female assistant referee.
The football pundits made the comments off-camera before Saturday’s Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool.
The pair were caught criticising the decision to appoint Sian Massey as a referee’s assistant and agreed women ‘probably don’t know the offside rule’.
Gray was sacked on Tuesday after another offensive incident came to light, this time directed at a female Sky Sports presenter.
The 55-year-old apologised for his comments and said he was ‘devastated by losing the job that I love’.
Later in a statement Keys said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for the remarks and any offence 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,’ he said.
‘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.’
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said in a statement:’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.’
Keys and Gray have been the face of football on Sky Sports for two decades.
They and Sky Sports brought energy, innovation and a new way of using technology to engage fans and reinvigorate live coverage of the sport.
Gray’s technical analysis of games using his tactics board proved a big hit with armchair managers.
Sky News sports presenter Nick Powell said it was important to remember their contribution amid the furore.
‘It’s quite important to make the point that the very fact this is a story is a tribute to the work Sky Sports and in particular these two, who have been the faces of Sky Sports for more than 18 years,’ he said.
‘The idea that the future of two TV pundits would have been such a big story over the last few days would have been unthinkable before Sky Sports did what it did.’
Buford Balony says: I don’t understand their reasoning. Soccer in the EPL is a girls game anyway.