GAA All-Star turned commentator Joe Brolly has said he is taking the friendly fire over his remarks about Sky’s GAA coverage on the chin.
Brolly said that people locally, including his own 10-year-old daughter and other children, have been constantly ribbing him and engaging in friendly banter over the Twitter controversy.
The former Derry player and RTE pundit sparked controversy after he branded Sky’s GAA coverage ‘TV3 plus Baywatch babe’ in a Tweet.
Mr Brolly subsequently clarified that the remarks were no reflection on the abilities of Sky’s new female GAA presenter signing, Dubliner Rachel Wyse.
Sky Sports- which recently entered into a deal which gives them rights to a number of Championship matches this summer- have expressed disappointment at Mr Brolly’s remarks and praised Ms Wyse as a “highly experienced journalist”.
On Tuesday, Mr Brolly had said on Twitter: “SKY’s entrenched beautiful anchor formula is shamelessly sexist, designed for their overwhelmingly male audience.”
He added afterwards that the remarks had “nothing to do” with Rachel and that he had “Never heard of her until now.”
Following a Twitter backlash from some quarters however on his ’@JoeBrolly1993’ account, Joe sent a direct message to Ms Wyse the following day saying that his expressed view was “no reflection on your abilities as a presenter or at least I didn’t mean it to be. I apologise.”
He also said: “I apologise for the remark about a ‘Baywatch babe’. It was not meant to be personal but it was crass & wrong of me.”
Mr Brolly told the Journal that the remarks had sparked a much wider debate.
“It is an illustration of the strength of the politically correct rules about what you can joke about and what you can’t joke about,” he said.
“Obviously my intention wasn’t at all to say anything about the girl personally, but just about Sky’s formula of using girls who are very glamorous, designed to please their overwhelmingly young male audience.
“I was just making a joke about it.”
He added: “It is a formula they have run for the past 20 years and they have been parodied for it.”
Mr Brolly said that the banter from local people had been good-natured and a “bit of fun”, with people rolling down their car windows to call out to him.
“I haven’t been able to walk two yards!” he said. “It’s a lot of fun, part of that unreal Twitter world.
“No-one is seriously suggesting I have disrespect for girls or discriminate against them.
“The reason I apologised to her, it was nothing to do with RTE, my wife said she might think herself it is a bit personal. I said ‘fair’s fair’ and I sent her a direct message on Twitter. I wouldn’t know the girl.”
He added that there hardly a man less macho than himself.
A spokesman for RTE confirmed they had given Mr Brolly a telling off.
He said: “The views expressed by Joe Brolly are not those of RTE and he has been asked to desist from making such comments.”
A spokeswoman for Sky Sports meanwhile said: “We were disappointed with his remarks and we note that he has subsequently apologised.
“Rachel is a highly experienced journalist who will play a key part in our GAA coverage.”