The look on this reporter's face when Chris Gayle tries hitting on her says it all
There are many things men will never understand about being a woman – this reporter’s experience is just one of them.
Mel McLaughlin is a sports presenter in Australia and, as her name suggests, is a woman. As we all know, televised sport is a male-dominated field and that can sometimes make life awkward for women who dare stray into it.
Former West Indies Test captain Chris Gayle demonstrated this perfectly when, after a good innings for the Melbourne Renegades in their Big Bash victory over the Hobart Hurricanes, he asked McLaughlin out for a drink during an interview. Her facial expression reveals how she feels about Gayle’s less than serious response to her questions.
Mmm, an awkward watch right? It must’ve been even more awkward to be the person getting hit on, on live TV.
The reaction to Gayle’s conduct has been pretty strong, with a lot of people labelling him “sleazy” and even “sexist”, while others think this is just the latest example of people getting offended too easily.
Freddie Flintoff, who presents for the same network as McLaughlin, thought Gayle made himself look like a bit of a “chop”.
While the head of the Big Bash League had this to say.
Statement re Chris Gayle on air comments tonight. pic.twitter.com/Zq6xn8fquW— Anthony Everard (@BigBashLeagueHQ) January 4, 2016
And many people used that dreaded word – “banter”.
I thought the Chris Gayle interview was slightly cringe worthy, but still playful banter.— Rhian Godwin (@psychicmaiden) January 4, 2016
Piers Morgan called it “a bit cheeky”, and got a retweet from Gayle for saying so.
Aussie netball player Georgie Parker also agreed, saying Gayle’s comments should be taken as a joke.
Let's all just take it as it was, a bit of a laugh from a known joker. I like to be told I'm pretty sometimes too, thats all he was saying..— Georgie Parker (@georgieparker) January 4, 2016
But just as many people feel Gayle was completely out of order for putting McLaughlin in that position, even if it was only as a result of being a bit naive.
A night away from the tweets. I'm genuinely shocked to see that so many are fine with Chris Gayle being a creep in someone's workplace.— eebzzub (@eebzzub) January 4, 2016
Anyway.. Enough about Chris Gayle. it wasn't spiteful, just inappropriate and stupid. Casual sexism— Jack Mendel (@JackMendel4) January 4, 2016
Chris Gayle would do well to learn some basic respect. Not sure if he's noticed, but it's 2016, not 1916.— Sam McClure (@sam_mcclure) January 4, 2016
Whether you believe the comments were just a harmless bit of fun, or a symptom of a potentially harmful attitude that affects many, it would appear Gayle is in trouble with the league and his club regardless.
Stuart Coventry, chief executive of the Renegades, said: “I heard Chris’ comments and we agree with both Cricket Australia and Channel 10 that they’re disrespectful and simply inappropriate.
“We’ll certainly be talking to him in association with Cricket Australia about it.
“The Melbourne Renegades is all about its appeal to kids, families and females. There’s just no place for that sort of behaviour.”