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Richard Keys takes to airwaves to defend sexism leaks

Sky Sports presenter says he’s sorry for leaked sexist remarks while ‘devastated’ Andy Gray issues apology too.

Updated: 2.40pm

SKY SPORTS PRESENTER Richard Keys has this afternoon attempted to atone for the behaviour that sees his high-profile job hang in the balance.

The football presenter is at the centre of a sexism row which has already seen long-standing colleague Andy Gray lose his job.

Keys told Talksport earlier: “There’s a firestorm raging out there and it has been very difficult to step into the middle of it.”

He added that the situation was “most, most discomforting” and said that he had made an official apology to Sian Massey, the referee’s assistant in Sunday’s Wolves versus Liverpool match. He added that they enjoyed some ‘banter’ before the call ended.

He later said he had told Massey – officially:

“On behalf of Andy and myself, we apologise for our behaviour. It was wrong.”

And Keys insisted his comments had been “ironic” and that he realised his attitudes were ‘prehistoric’ and the game had changed. Later he called out Rio Ferdinand.

The Manchester United skipper criticised the pair’s behaviour but Keys said: “Come on Rio, you’re telling me it doesn’t happen in the Manchester United dressing-room? My information says it does.”

Asked about his remarks about Karren Brady, he said: “I tried to ring Karren twice on Sunday night.” He added that Brady had not responded to a text message, offering an apology. “I tried to ring her to apologise and she didn’t take my call,” he said.

He said he had found the general reaction to his remarks to have been “extraordinary” and said that he “could not believe the frenzy that has blown up”.

When questioned further about his comments regarding Sian Massey, he said: “Prehistoric banter isn’t acceptable in the modern world. I accept that. We failed to change when the world has changed.

“We wholeheartedly apologise for our behaviour. It was wrong. I deserve to be battered. I can stand up and take a beating. I’m not sorry for me, I’m sorry for Sian Massey. I’d like to reiterate what I said to Sian Massey. I rang on behalf of Andy and myself on Sunday afternoon.”

The Sky presenter said he ‘helped’ Kenny Dalglish’s daughter Kelly Cates in her nascent journalism career as well as aiding Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and others.

Cates – who has been a vocal critic of the Sky pair – confirmed that Keys had been generous.

An increasingly belligerent Keys went on to issue a thinly-veiled threat to those who passed judgment in the media, saying he knows them ‘very well’. He said one player who spoke about the controversy had asked for help some time ago because of a ‘family issue’.

His fallen colleague however, Andy Gray, issued a statement in which he apologies: “I am very sorry that certain comments made by me have caused offence.

Such comments were made off-air to work colleagues, and were of course never intended to be broadcast. I was very upset when the comments were brought to my attention, and it was my intention to apologise on Monday night when I was back on air for the Bolton v Chelsea game.

“Sadly I was unable to do so as I was suspended from the show by Sky Sports and have now been sacked. Football is my life and I am devastated by losing the job that I love.

“I am equally upset that third parties have been dragged into this issue. I ask that the media respect their privacy so that they can continue in their roles. I have worked for Sky Sports loyally for over 20 years and I do not wish to comment further at this time.”

You can listen to the entire interview here:

Richard Keys defends himself on radio, part one

Richard Keys defends himself on radio, part two

Richard Keys defends himself on radio, part three

Richard Keys defends himself on radio, part four

Sky presenter on the brink | Take a bow son, Andy Gray sacked by station

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