Sky Sports News presenter Hayley McQueen has revealed her outrage at Joe Brolly's comments towards her colleague Rachel Wyse.
Seemingly unimpressed - or perhaps threatened - by Sky Sports' debut season of GAA coverage, Brolly tweeted at the time: "Sky = TV3 plus Baywatch Babe." He later deleted the tweet and apologised following widespread criticism throughout both GAA and general media circles.
@RACHEL_WYSE Rachel, I apologise for the remark about a "Baywatch babe" . It was not meant to be personal but it was crass & wrong of me.
— Joe Brolly (@JoeBrolly1993) May 21, 2014
Speaking to Raf Diallo of Newstalk's Team 33, McQueen explained how seeing her close friend and then-Sky newcomer subjected to such remarks as recently as two summers ago left her 'fuming' when asked if she had experienced similar prejudice in her journalism career:
Not so much anymore it doesn't happen but if it did, My God I'd certainly call someone out. Definitely! I think when you're strong, and I'm quite feisty, I would happily slam someone down.
I remember there's a journalist here [in Ireland], Joe Brolly, who wrote a really bad article on one of my best friends, Rachel. I was fuming. Rachel is an intelligent, brilliant journalist who was just starting out in her career here, needed the confidence, needed the backing of her own press and some guy wrote a really derogatory piece about her. That's when I get defensive.
So I might not necessarily come under scrutiny. But when I see my friends and colleagues and other young girls, that becomes a problem. How is somebody like that who is supposed to be professional and putting a message out... There are people read his column and you think 'these young people trust this journalist and everything you guys say as journalists and you've just gone and taken us back 10 years.' That bothered me.
It was Joe Brolly's 2014 tweet, as opposed to an article, which we presume she is referring to, but you get the point.
Hayley McQueen's full interview with Team 33 will play out on Newstalk next Tuesday at 11pm, and will also be available as a podcast. The episode features a chat with Sky football pundit and Ireland legend Niall Quinn, and McQueen also discusses how she started out in sports journalism, her career at Sky and the renowned Offside Rule podcast.
[Raf Diallo, Newstalk]