Sky Sports' Keys sorry for remarks, says job on the line

By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - Sky Sports TV presenter Richard Keys apologized for remarks that sparked a soccer sexism furor and said he did not yet know if he would remain in his job.

Keys told TalkSPORT radio that comments he made regarding female official Sian Massey before Saturday's Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool were "totally unacceptable."

Keys has been suspended from broadcasting on Sky while his co-presenter and chief analyst Andy Gray has been sacked following the emergence of a number of other recordings in which the former Scotland international made sexist comments.

Keys said: "Prehistoric banter isn't acceptable in the modern world. I accept that. We failed to change when the world has changed."

He added: "We wholeheartedly apologize for our behavior. 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."

"I'm not proud of what we did, there is no defense, there is no place for it. I was wrong. It was totally unacceptable. I don't live in the dark ages, despite the allegation."

He said he was uncertain if he would remain in the job he has held for almost 20 years.

DISCUSSING FUTURE

"My mate has been sacked and, of course, I have to consider my options," he said, adding that he was in discussions with his employees over his future.

Gray, meanwhile, who was fired on Tuesday, issued a statement through his lawyers saying: "I am very sorry that certain comments made by me have caused offence.

"Such comments were made off air to work colleagues and, of course, were never intended to be broadcast.

"I was very upset when the comments were brought to my attention. It was my intention to apologize 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 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 and I ask that the media respect their privacy so that they can continue in their roles."

Host Keys and pundit Gray were initially suspended by the broadcaster after they were recorded questioning whether Massey "knew the offside rule."

Keys later added: "The game's gone mad" before going on to mock recent comments about sexism in football made by West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady, one of the highest-profile women in the game.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)