Sky Sports Italia has suspended two of its F1 commentators/pundits after inappropriate joke made on live TV post Spanish GP.
In their post-race live TV coverage of Spanish GP, Sky Sports Italia commentators/pundits Matteo Bobbi and Davide Valsecchi made inappropriate and sexist jokes in front of their female colleague Federica Masolin, which she didn’t like as well.
Bobbi was posted in the studio, while Valsecchi was in the paddock alongside Masolin. Bobbi pointed towards a female seen in the background where he refereed her as an ‘upgrade package’, to which Valsecchi responded and got a stare from Masolin.
“I already know them but they told me I can’t test them. So I raise my hands,” he said. Masolin did warn them to ‘be careful’ but as they continued, she added: “Can we watch some interviews instead of these two? Let’s hear from Carlos Sainz, please.
“I’m going to censure you two.” In fact, she read a live viewer comment too: “Fabio is concerned for your physical safety, Matteo and Davide. Will they be safe and sound, after this gag, at the next Grand Prix. Appreciated by all their wives?”
But this didn’t stop them as Bobbi responded: “Well when I get home I’ll get a beating, probably. Sorry, Davide.” And Valsecchi added: “Well you know I’ve had eye surgery twice because I’ve been losing sight since I was a child, looking at those things.”
This exchange has forced Sky Sports Italia to take action against Bobbi and Valsecchi by suspending and removing them from broadcast in Canadian GP. Both of them have since apologised for their behaviour on live TV by posting on their social media.
Bobbi wrote: “On Sunday in the post-race I was the protagonist of a joke that came out in a completely unhappy way, although it was not my intention. I created an unpleasant moment that upset some people. I ended up in the gravel.
“Being anything but a disrespectful person, I sincerely apologise to those who felt offended by it. I reiterated my total and deep respect for all women and in particular starting with the woman I have next to me.
“For 10 years I have been commentating on F1 with Sky friends, a family now, and in 10 years I have never found myself in such an unpleasant situation. I’ve always thought that from mistakes you learn and start again. What happened will me to try to improve further as a man and as a professional.”
And Valsecchi wrote: “I’m so sorry, because on Sunday in the post-race I fell into an exchange of bad-tasteful jokes and used unsuitable and disrespectful words. And I’m not. This is why I would like to apologise to those who felt offended, to women and to Sky. Really.”
This suspension comes after Formula E dropped its lead commentator Jack Nicholls after an investigation found him guilty of inappropriate behaviour with few personnel during race weekends when they complained about him in the light of things.
The Spanish GP weekend saw some people write against Sky Sports UK commentator Martin Brundle too when he referred Zhou Guanyu as ‘Chinaman’ while talking about the cosmopolitan situation when he was in a four-way battle.
It involved Nico Hulkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda primarily, with Valtteri Bottas just a bit behind them. The term ‘Chinaman’ is discouraged to be used by Asian organisations for its grammatical incorrectness and its use in pejorative context.
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