Sky suspends Carragher over spitting incident

Former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher described the incident as a "moment of madness".
Former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher described the incident as a "moment of madness". PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Pundit Jamie Carragher was suspended by Sky Sports yesterday, after he was filmed spitting in the direction of a football fan and his teenage daughter in a car after Liverpool's 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on Saturday.

The former England and Liverpool defender, who has two teenage children, claimed not to have seen the 14-year-old.

The driver had pulled up alongside Carragher and was goading him about the loss when he wound down his window and spat into the car, with the 14-year-old girl commenting on the video that his spit had hit her.

Carragher revealed he had already contacted the girl's family and wrote on Twitter: "Totally out of order and I've apologised personally to all the family this evening. I was goaded 3/4 times along the motorway while being filmed & lost my rag. No excuse apologies."

He appeared on Sky News yesterday to apologise once more and described the incident as a "moment of madness".

"It's devastating for the family involved and I'm sorry for my actions," he said. "Hopefully, the family can accept that apology from me."

"Sky takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie's actions, we have made that clear to him in person today and suspended him from his duties. It falls well below the standards we expect," Sky Sports said in a statement.

His actions have been widely condemned in England, with former Wimbledon hardman Vinnie Jones branding Carragher as "filth", while former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton described the spitting shame as "absolute madness".

However, fellow Sky pundit Gary Neville defended his colleague, tweeting: "This isolated incident shouldn't stop us (from) working together."

In 2011, BeIN Sports pundit Andy Gray was sacked by Sky and Richard Keys resigned after making inappropriate remarks about female colleagues and assistant referee Sian Massey, with the latter calling it "just banter".

And Keys was quick to weigh in on the Carragher incident, tweeting "it will be interesting" to see how Sky handles the fallout.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2018, with the headline 'Sky suspends Carragher over spitting incident'. Print Edition | Subscribe