Earlier this year, British commentator Andy Gray found himself in hot water over some sexist remarks he made on-air. That normally wouldn't be that big a deal for us, were it not for the fact he was half the commentary team for top-selling series FIFA.
At the time, asked whether the controversy would affect his appearances in FIFA, EA said, "We have not made any announcements about our in-game commentators for FIFA for 2011". They have now.
Gray, a former player at my beloved Aston Villa, has been dumped, replaced in the virtual commentary box by Alan Smith, the former Leicester and Arsenal star who will be appearing alongside long-time FIFA announcer Martin Tyler for the first time in the series (though he's worked with Tyler in the real commentary booth before).
Oh, the double standards! Tiger Woods is found to have cheated on his wife by f—king everything with a hole and a pulse and he gets to keep his name on a game box, while Gray, whose comments were relatively tame by comparison, finds himself benched.
I understand one is a global superstar and the other simply a well-known commentator from Scotland (who also lost his gig at Sky Sports over the comment), but still, it comes off as a little harsh on Gray considering the leniency provided Woods, especially given the fact Gray's role with Sky wasn't part of any branding or licensing deal with EA.
In EA's defence, Gray's sacking probably had more to do with it than the offence behind it; it makes him less desirable as a virtual commentator when he's not working as a real one.
On the bright side, it means Tyler has recorded more new dialogue than has been the case in the last few years. It also has prompted EA to offer two English commentary options, fans able to select from the Tyler-Smith pairing or instead opting for Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend (who are also the default team for tournament matches), who we last heard from in the 2010 World Cup game from EA.
Top photo by Tony Duffy/Getty