Guardian sport on 14 March 2018
Jamie Carragher has been suspended from his job as a Sky Sports football pundit until at least the end of the season after he was filmed spitting into a car.
The broadcaster is considering how it can offer a route back on to the channel for the former Liverpool defender after what he described as a “moment of madness”.
Footage shows him being taunted through the open window of his car while driving away from Old Trafford stadium after Manchester United’s victory against Liverpool. He reacts by spitting towards Andy Hughes, who had been delivering the taunts, but the spit hit Hughes’s 14-year-old daughter.
Carragher has made several public apologies, including a live television interview in which he described it as the worst mistake he had made in his career. He has also spoken twice to the Hughes family.
A Sky Sports spokesman said: “Following an internal review, Sky has suspended Jamie Carragher for the remainder of the football season. Jamie has taken full responsibility for what has happened and we will ensure he gets the help he needs to guarantee something like this never happens again. Before the start of the next season we will sit down with Jamie to discuss whether he is ready to return to his role.”
Carragher has proved popular with audiences for his role analysing live football matches but there have been calls from within and outside the game for him to be sacked after the incident was made public.
The 40-year-old played for England 38 times and has been a regular fixture on Sky Sports since retiring from football in 2013. He urged members of the public to desist from contacting the Hughes family after they said they had received death threats after their identities were revealed on Twitter.
Carragher tweeted: “I’ve made a big mistake and accept full responsibility. I am the only person to blame for this sorry situation, so please leave the family alone.”
The Telegraph newspaper, for which Carragher writes a weekly column on football, could not be reached for comment on whether it will take disciplinary action against him.