This day’s portion Navigation Menu


Two ways to say sorry for the same misdemeanour. First, Andy Gray:

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. Football is my life and I am devastated by losing the job that I love. Andy Gray

Of course, this isn’t an apology at all. Gray is sorry for the offence he caused rather than his actual behaviour, and invites the reader to feel sorry for him.

The more interesting apology comes from Richard Keys:

We were wrong. It was wrong. It shouldn’t have happened. I hope this starts the process of recovery and that everybody now can just step back and understand that you know these boorish and bullish guys understand the magnitude of what happened. Richard Keys

A better level of apology in that it explicitly accepts that both the act and the perpetrators (note the plural; after all, a problem shared is a problem halved) were wrong; the use of short, active sentences lets Keys avoid any charges of evasion.

Keys does proceed to somewhat undo his good work by making a classic, conspiratorial reference to “dark forces” and, even more pathetically, criticises Karen Brady for not returning his calls at the weekend. Incidentally, Brady’s repsonse is a masterful put down:

Perhaps Richard thought I was too busy making the tea and washing up to take his call but a cursory glance at the weekend’s newspapers or television would have made him well aware that I was heavily occupied with the West Ham and Newham Council Olympic Stadium bid. Karen Brady

Saying sorry properly is difficult. You have to actually accept that you are unconditionally wrong and the unpleasant consequences. No regreting the offence rather than the act, no moaning about the response to your misdemeanour.

Keys at least accepts his culpability. Gray doesn’t even get that far. A career as a right wing shock jock no doubt beckons. He already has his supporters.