Letters, Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

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Double standards of morality at Sky

WHILE not many football supporters will shed a tear over the dismissals of the overrated and egotistical Andy Gray and the sycophantic friend of the footballing stars Richard Keys, you have to laugh when Sky bosses bleat on about their sexist behavour in such puritan terms when you see the amount of blatantly sexual, women-exploiting programme output that is openly available to all Sky subscribers, many of whom presumably have young children who can access it quite easily when the elders are not about.

There is no moralising going on in this correspondence, just a highlighting of the duplicity of standards of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his sycophantic print and broadcast editors, whose base standards are exemplified even further when one sees the many articles and adverts of an overtly sexual nature contained in publications that he owns, including the Sun, Sunday People and the News of the World.

I think that we will see in due course that there are deeper reasons as to why Gray in particular was sacked. For example he is currently in the process of suing the News of The World for alleged phone hacking, something Mr Murdoch will not be best pleased about.

Sky’s protestations about the sexist behaviour of Gray and Keys are laughable in the extreme. And what about Sky’s policy of using what a former generation would have referred to as “dolly birds” as Sky Sports news presenters – some of whom have the sporting knowledge of a pea – with the sole aim of attracting male viewers? One recently called Molineux, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Moulinex, which is a French-based manufacturer of household appliances. Another, reporting on the cricket, said a player who was out LBW, was out for “leg behind wicket”.

Must have been a painful dismissal.


Why all the fuss?

FOLLOWING my letter re. females being inept at football tactics, which received several angry replies, Sky Sport presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys face the wrath of the public for discussing off air the very same thing.

I cannot understand what all the fuss is about. This type of conversation goes on in grounds all over the country – it is called male banter.

The female linesperson involved in the debate appeared in the Sunderland v Blackpool game a few weeks ago and, while she performed reasonably well, when she ran from the tunnel to make her appearence me and my mates all groaned. One even fainted in disbelief!

The biggest worry was what if she had to make a snap decision similar to the Russian linesman Tofik Bakhramov in the 1966 World Cup Final? Did the ball cross the line or not? On that occasion the referee consulted the linesman and a decision was made almost instantly. Can you imagine if it was a female referee or linesperson facing the same scenario?

You know what it’s like when ladies go to buy shoes or a coat – they can never make their mind up – so this would slow the game down and change football for ever.

The point is, Keys and Gray are in trouble for privately giving opinions that the majority of fans agree with, which is political correctness gone mad.

Football was better in the old days. All games were played on Saturdays and Wednesday evenings.

There was a much better atmosphere in those days due to the fact most fans stood on the terraces and you could buy a bag of peanuts, tanner a bag. The seller used to throw them into the crowd. That wouldn’t be allowed these days due to heath and safetey regulations.

We watched Shoot with big George Taylor on a Sunday afternoon or the Big Match with the voice of football, Brian Moore, and Match of the Day with David Coleman, and guess what – there was no mention of a female linesperson.

Mick “The Pen” Brown

Well done, Sian

EXACTLY what is it about the offside law that makes some men think only men can understand it? My wife understands it very well.

Sian Massey, the assistant referee in the Wolves v Liverpool game, is to be congratulated on getting the decision right, and in sticking to her guns and not being intimated by the partisan crowd.

I hope Sian continues to officiate at Premier League games, and is not put off by the asinine comments of the two morons in the commentary box.

PB, Ivy Avenue, Seaham

Mining heritage

AS the son of a coal miner in Country Durham, I was interested to read the recent letter from Mike Leddra about our heritage, especially mining buildings etc.

The Mining Society meets in the Freemason Hall in Hetton and haa suggested to a member for them to consider a project – the restoration of the grave of miner Nicholas Wood.

Locally, Sunderland Heritage Forum meets in the city library. Over the years the only mining representative to attend was from Bowes Railway Mining Museum.

The next meeting is at 2pm on Tuesday, February 15, when Mr Leddra can attend. he will be most welcome.

Bill Craddock, Bowes