Big Bash League 2015-16 January 4, 2016

BBL raps Gayle for 'disrespectful' interview

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Chris Gayle had an awkward interview with Channel Ten's Mel McLaughlin © Getty Images

Melbourne Renegades batsman Chris Gayle has come in for strong criticism for his comments towards a television presenter in an interview during his side's victory over Hobart Hurricanes at Bellerive Oval, with Anthony Everard, the head of the BBL, promising action against the batsman.

Channel Ten, the broadcaster, also confirmed that Gayle would not be involved in their coverage for the rest of the tournament as a result of comments he made to their reporter Mel McLaughlin shortly after he had been dismissed.

"I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well," Gayle said to McLaughlin, when asked about how aggressively he had batted. "That's the reason why I'm here, just to see your eyes for the first time. It's nice so. Hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after. Don't blush, baby."

Everard, who was at the game, was quick to sharply rebuke Gayle's comments. "I heard Chris' comments and they're disrespectful and simply inappropriate," he said in a statement.

"We'll certainly be talking to him and the Renegades about it. This league is all about its appeal to kids, families and females. There's just no place in the BBL - or, for that matter, cricket anywhere - for that sort of behaviour."

Melbourne Renegades' chief executive Stuart Coventry echoed Everard's comments, saying "there is just no place for that sort of behaviour".

Channel Ten commentator Mark Howard, joined in the commentary box by former internationals Damien Fleming and Mark Waugh, quickly apologised for Gayle's comments, but only after Ten's official twitter account @TenSport had tweeted what Gayle had said, with the hashtag #smooth. That tweet has since been deleted.

"We will be seeking an apology," David Barham, Channel Ten's head of sport, told The Herald Sun, adding that he was "deeply offended" by Gayle's comments. "We won't be using him in the game anymore. Unless things change in the next few days, it's not happening. It was totally inappropriate behaviour. Mel's a working journalist doing a job."

Gayle has form in this department. In July 2014, when asked by a female reporter during the Caribbean Premier League about the surface the Jamaica Tallawahs, who he was captaining, would be playing on in their next game, Gayle responded: "Well, I haven't touched yours yet so I don't know how it feels."

On that occasion, a CPL spokesperson defended Gayle's comments but he can expect shorter shrift this time, with Cricket Australia expected to make an official statement on the matter imminently.

Will Macpherson writes on cricket for the Guardian, ESPNcricinfo and All Out Cricket. @willis_macp

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • saishenoy on January 8, 2016, 22:47 GMT

    Totally agree with what Back-Foot-Cringe said. "So Gayle was just having a little harmless fun, didn't mean to be "disrespectful or offensive" (his words). Just like the guys who ogle, whistle, and yell "Yeah, baybeee" at women walking down the street. Women who could easily be your daughter/sister/fiancée/wife." To all the mansplainers, please place yourself in that situation before you say there are double standards in the media. The media does not even matter in this case. It happened on live TV. Forget the overanalysis on the media. You saw it on live TV. What did YOU think about it? Did it not make you cringe? Now place your mother/daughter/sister/fiancée/wife in Mel's situation. And instead of Gayle have it be some guys in your neighborhood. Is it still all fun and games for you? The world and its rules have forever been tailor made by men. Women could not even vote in most countries until the last century. What double standards are you talking about @CASEYWILLIAMOZ?

  • darkandlightblue on January 7, 2016, 14:42 GMT

    Can't see what the fuss is about. Gayle is a great entertainer...

  • Back-Foot-Cringe on January 7, 2016, 12:13 GMT

    Chris Gayle says it was "a simple joke" and that he didn't mean "anything disrespectful or offensive." Seems sincere. But did Mel McLaughlin HERSELF *feel* disrespected or offended? Her body language in the original interview answers that. Go back and watch it.

    Chris Gayle now says "there wasn't any harm done" as if he can speak for Mel McLaughlin, on her behalf. He didn't INTEND harm, sure, but was there any DONE? Mel is the authority on that. Not Chris Gayle.

    He says he's "really sorry" that she "felt that way." Which surely makes her feel so much better, HIS apologising for how SHE feels.

    But he didn't actually apologise for what he originally said. At all.

  • Back-Foot-Cringe on January 7, 2016, 11:13 GMT

    Female perspective

    Mel McLaughlin (the interviewer): "You don't expect to get that sort of answer" (when asking Gayle about his batting).

    Neroli Meadows (Fox Sports): "He's done it to me, he's done it to several women . . . It happens 10 times a day when you are female in the sports industry and that's just a fact. . . . He says there is no harm done. How does he know? . . . He went at me once in the press conference - ok, fine, whatever, you're having a laugh, you're Chris Gayle, everyone laughs. He did it again . . . it's not ok, and then to come up afterwards, stand over me: 'So when are we going for this drink.' It makes you - he's a big guy, it makes you feel intimidated, and it's just not ok."

    Melinda Farrell (ESPN): "We (women) probably accept things that we shouldn't . . . You just want to get on with your job. . ."

    Angela Pippos (TV journalist): "Unless you're a woman trying to carve out a career in a male-dominated industry you don't really know what it feels like."

  • Back-Foot-Cringe on January 7, 2016, 11:10 GMT

    Male perspective

    Chris Gayle: "It was a simple joke."

    Other (presumably male) commenters here: "overreaction at its finest", "a mountain out of a molehill", "not a problem with me", "she should quit and find a desk job somewhere", "hilarious", "feminism is really getting out of hand", "move on people, grow up", "PC going overboard", "how is this sexist?", "people are way too sensitive these days", "he didn't mean to offend anybody", "nothing wrong in it!", "just being Caribbean", "free speech is DEAD", "you can't be offended when someone like that flirts with you", "if anything all he did was COMPLIMENT her"

    So Gayle was just having a little harmless fun, didn't mean to be "disrespectful or offensive" (his words).

    Just like the guys who ogle, whistle, and yell "Yeah, baybeee" at women walking down the street.

    Women who could easily be your daughter/sister/fiancée/wife.

  • CaseyWilliamOZ on January 7, 2016, 8:51 GMT

    SAISHENOY. you are missing the point mate. try to be objective and see things as they are. there is no victim blaming merely folks pointing out the obvious double standard in our society and selective bias from the media. don't try to generalize everything so easy aye

  • Chris_P on January 7, 2016, 8:41 GMT

    @Makeda Sure you won't.. and I will never, ever have another beer again..ever!

  • Makeda on January 6, 2016, 23:46 GMT

    If this is considered disrespectful and not entertainment i cannot see myself watching the BBL League again. If you concerned about the kids then almost 90% of the content being aired on television these days should be banned...

  • pinkoparlo on January 6, 2016, 20:27 GMT

    Totally unacceptable behavior from Gayle. He could have asked her out later (off-camera) and it would be completely ok. By doing it on camera, he put the reporter in an uncomfortable position and presented a poor impression to those watching. Finally, he must ALWAYS remember that even if it is just BBL, he is also a representative of his nation and the great Windies cricketing legacy.

  • saishenoy on January 6, 2016, 17:48 GMT

    The amount of victim blaming in the comments section here is through the roof. It makes me sick to think that the commenters here are representative of today's cricket audience. What Chris Gayle did was just wrong and his behavior should not be condoned no matter how talented he is. There is no need to mansplain it and make it worse.

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