'I jumped before I was pushed'

February 28, 2024

RTE's Joanne Cantwell, Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane at Limerick's Gaelic Grounds

Pat Spillane had criticised RTÉ for the direction it has taken with regard to its GAA punditry.

The Kerry legend was a mainstay of The Sunday Game for 30 years before retiring in the summer of 2022. In his Sunday World column, Spillane maintains he would have been pushed out the exit door if he had stayed any longer due to the broadcaster ‘becoming too PC and generic'.

“I jumped before I was pushed,” he wrote.

“Trust me, my P45 was ready and waiting for me, but I would not give anybody the satisfaction of telling me I was finished, so I left on my terms.

“I don’t watch The Sunday Game on a regular basis anymore. The programme has followed the example set across all sporting platforms with its analysis becoming too PC and generic.

“There is a huge contradiction here. Inclusivity is the big buzz word these days and sports programmes have bought into this policy.

“While they are attempting to be inclusive, they are practicing exclusivity because male pundits aged 60 or over are being excluded, which I believe is unfair.”

Spillane added: “It strikes me that RTÉ Sport executives decided to get rid of so-called celebrity sports pundits.

“They followed the example set by Sky Sports and opted instead for an analysis package featuring a deep dive into statistics and gizmos.

“Guess what? Sky Sports have reversed their policy and now their soccer analysis is built around the views of three celebrity pundits – Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.”

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