Treasury minister Andrea Leadsom has said that there is a culture within some key sports which "tolerates sexism".
Responding to criticism of Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore over leaked emails, she told ITV News: "I haven't looked at apparently some of the more salacious emails, but I do think there is a culture, particularly in some of the key sports, that does perhaps tolerate sexism."
She added: "I think it is incredibly unfortunate, because we can all take a joke, but actually it's very important that women are seen as colleagues and equals and encouraged to the best they can do."
"It depends. When does a joke become something that is actually harmful and humiliating for woman? I can't really comment in this particular case, but personally I would like to see men in particular respecting their colleagues as equals whether they are men or women."
A Football Association equality panel will meet later today to discuss the leaked emails from Premier League chief exec Richard Scudamore.
Yesterday the Premier League investigation said there would be no further action and no further disciplinary action over the emails.
The advisory board, chaired by independent member Heather Rabbatts will look into the emails and the Premier League's handling of the case.
Yesterday David Cameron added his voice to the row, saying he did not think a minister would survive the scandal.
I don't think they would. I have to be careful what I say because I haven't seen these specific emails, but...we have to set and keep high standards in politics.
I have tried to enforce that in my own party. I haven't actually seen the emails myself but obviously people should treat everybody else with respect.
Richard Scudamore has "done a fantastic job" at the Premier League, prior to the scandal caused by leaked sexist emails, former Manchester United footballer Dwight Yorke said.
Speaking before an official statement from the Premier League said Scudamore would face no further action, Yorke said the League Chief Executive had made an "elementary mistake."
Les Ferdinand has said that racism and sexism have no place in football.
Speaking to ITV News after a series of emails containing sexist comments from Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore were leaked, the former England international said;
"We talk about racism, we talk about sexism - and all these things shouldn't be in football."
Ferdinand was speaking before the Premier League ruled that Scudamore wouldn't face any further action for the emails.
An Investigation into the conduct of Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has found "no climate of disrespect of women in the workplace," an official statement has said.
"Responses from many women in employment at the Premier League, and extensive consultations with others, establish that there is no climate of disrespect of women in the workplace." The statement said.
The Premier League has ruled that "no further disciplinary action is required or justified" for Richard Scudamore after a series of leaked emails revealed sexist slurs.
In a statement to the media, the Chairman of the Premier League said that the Clubs had accepted the Chief Executive's "sincere" apology and "accepted his undertaking to take active steps to prevent a recurrence."
"In these circumstances and in the light of a previously unblemished record over 15 years of service to the Premier League, the Clubs resolved unanimously that no further disciplinary action is required or justified." The statement said.
Prime Minister David Cameron has supported the view of his sports minister that Richard Scudamore's comments were "unacceptable", but said that it was for the Premier League to decide his future.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Helen Grant...was right to say what she did, I have clearly associated the Prime Minister directly with those remarks.
"But in terms of staffing decisions at the Premier League, it's for the Premier League."
The PA who leaked emails full of sexist comments from the Premier League chief thinks the emails reflect a wider culture of sexism.Read the full story ›
Richard Scudamore's position as chief executive of the Premier League remains under pressure as the league's audit and remuneration committee prepares to meet today.
Scudamore has been heavily criticised after leaked emails reveal a number of sexist slurs. Scudamore has apologised for "any offence caused" and admitted the comments were "inappropriate".
Yesterday, the Premier League was forced to defend its working environment after Rani Abraham, who worked as a temporary personal assistant, said she felt "humiliated, belittled, and disgusted" by the messages she read.
The pressure on the Premier League's chief executive will force him to resign, Ukip leader Nigel Farage has told ITV News, after Richard Scudamore made controversial remarks about women in private emails which were leaked to the Sunday Mirror.
Mr Farage added:
In the modern world anybody who sends out anything by email should not consider it to be private, it's not.
I think he should have known better then to do that. Email is not private. He's made a very bad error of judgement, and I'm afraid he's going to have to pay the price for that.