Last January we told you about the sexism controversy that led to the firing of Sky Sports soccer pundit Andy Gray (pictured at right above). Obviously, the news wasn’t the biggest here stateside, but it was a national controversy in England. Gray was the equivalent of John Madden in the UK as the nation’s foremost soccer analyst. Along with Martin Tyler, Gray formed one of the most well-known announcing partnerships in the world, and became household names to soccer fans here in the U.S. for their work on the FIFA video game series from EA Sports.
However, when video of Gray and co-presenter Richard Keyes were shown to be making lewd comments towards a female co-worker and a female referee, the two were unceramoniously fired. And while the pair have landed on their feet at a talk radio station in the UK, a revealing story in The Guardian sheds light on the darker side of a media controversy.
In the article, Gray is asked point blank if he considered taking his own life at the depths of his despair over his firing, his response is chilling.
“Yes. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. I had never felt like I have felt from January 25th [last year] onwards.”
In this day and age it’s easy for fans and media alike to crucify those in the public light who have done wrong. And yes, if you go back and look at Gray’s offenses, he certainly deserved to lose his job. In the end, he has nobody to blame but himself. But, the stunning admission shows there is another side to these controversies that involve analysts.
If nothing else, Gray’s admission is a cautionary tale in every way possible. Gray’s haunting words should be remembered when the next firestorm approaches. There is a darker side to scandal when a person not only loses their job, but their reputation as well.