Jamie Carragher has been suspended by Sky Sports after a video showed the former England and Liverpool defender spitting towards a girl in a car from his own vehicle.
The television pundit had been covering Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United for Sky on Saturday.
He apologised but Sky said it “takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie’s actions”.
It added they had “made that clear to him in person” and “suspended him”.
“It falls well below the standards we expect of our people,” continued the statement.
A Danish television channel has also pulled Carragher from its coverage of Manchester United’s Champions League game against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
In the video obtained by the Mirror, Carragher exchanges waves with the girl’s dad. Carragher then winds down his window while the girl’s dad winds down his passenger side window. The dad can then be heard shouting: “Unlucky Jamie lad. Two, one.”
Carragher reacts by leaning out of his window and spitting towards the car, hitting the girl, who is sitting in the front passenger seat.
On Sunday night he apologised on Twitter and said that while he was “goaded three/four times while being filmed”, that there was “no excuse”.
He was interviewed on Sky News on Monday and called it “a moment of madness” and “four or five seconds I can’t explain”.
“It’s devastating for the family involved and I’m sorry for my actions,” he said. “I called the family, obviously they were upset last night.
“That is my biggest regret, that a 14-year-old girl was caught up in the middle of this. That devastates me more than anything else.
“Because it is a young girl it feels slightly worse to me. I have a daughter of the same age and if someone had done that to her I don’t know how I would respond.
“Hopefully the family can accept that apology from me.”
Will he stay on as as a Sky pundit?
Sky’s statement did not say how long Carragher’s suspension would last and, on his future as a pundit with the company, the 40-year-old said “it remains to be seen and it’s Sky’s decision”.
“What I would say is there is no doubt what I have done is disgusting and I apologise for it,” added Carragher.
“I’ll be vilified for it and rightly so. What I would hope is that five seconds of madness doesn’t represent me and, hopefully, the general public will look at the 20 years of my career and see it as a mistake.
“I haven’t offered my resignation but they have made it known that they are very disappointed about the shame now hanging over the name.”
He added: “My own kids are disappointed and a little bit upset obviously. It’s a poor message, not just in the game, but it’s a poor message for everyone out there.”
Carragher was supposed to be acting as a pundit for Danish television channel TV3 Sport, which is part of the Modern Times Group media company, for the second leg of Manchester United’s last-16 Champions League tie at home to Sevilla on Tuesday.
However, he has been pulled from their coverage as they investigate the spitting incident, with MTG Sport executive vice-president Peter Norrelund saying they had sent an employee to speak to Carragher before deciding what further action to take.
“I want to listen to his version. With the impact of story there was no need to send him to Old Trafford for the game,” said Norrelund.
Neville backing for Carragher
Former England and Manchester United defender Gary Neville is a Sky Sports pundit alongside Carragher and believes his colleague should keep his role at the company.
“I’ve just watched Jamie Carragher say sorry,” he said. “No excuses, he’s made a big mistake.
“He’s massively passionate about football and he’s overstepped the mark and shouldn’t have reacted.
“I’ve been on TV for three years with him and, in my opinion, this isolated incident shouldn’t stop us working together.”