Home / Live Wire / Eye of the Tiger: Gayle sparks outrage with swing and miss at Aussie presenter

Eye of the Tiger: Gayle sparks outrage with swing and miss at Aussie presenter

You don’t earn a reputation as one of the most feared batsmen in the manic-paced 20/20 cricket arena by measured and judicious stroke play. And when the people writing your cheques see it fit to name their enterprise the “Big Bash”, a sorta adventurous, free-spirited nature is implied.

Boy did Chris Gayle ever read the conditions wrong when an attractive Channel Ten reporter, Mel McLaughlin, came walking over for a brief interview with the Melbourne Renegades and West Indies cricket star.

Photo: Awkward... Australian television presenter Mel McLaughlin (left) has little trouble dispatching Chris Gayle's pitiful pick-up line.
Photo: Awkward…
Australian television presenter Mel McLaughlin (left) has little trouble dispatching Chris Gayle’s pitiful pick-up line.

“Your eyes are beautiful, hopefully we can win this game,” Gayle told McLaughlin, “and then we can have a drink after as well. Don’t blush, baby.”

It was hard to tell whether Gayle—who is 36 years old going on 15—was channelling his inner-Tiger or bootlegging Austin Powers. Either way, his swipe outside the off stump hit only air.

I’m not blushing,” McLaughlin retorted.

And she really meant it.

It was as sad as seeing a three-year-old child try to tie his own shoelaces. Or watching Jack Warner try to pronounce: “electricity.” Or “extradition.”

Photo: Try it one more time: Ex-tra-dish-on! Former Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner. (Copyright AFP 2015/Alva Viarruel)
Photo: Try it one more time: Ex-tra-dish-on!
Former Chaguanas West MP and ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner.
(Copyright AFP 2015/Alva Viarruel)

Anthony Everard, the head of the Big Bash League, described Gayle’s comments as: “disrespectful and simply inappropriate.”

Melbourne Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry vowed to discuss the matter with Gayle and Cricket Australia and warned that: “There’s just no place for that sort of behaviour.”

Everard pointedly noted that the Big Bash was: “all about its appeal to kids, families and females.” Translation: we have no intention of messing with our ratings.

The Daily Mail, never one to miss an opportunity for moral outrage when it isn’t spying on celebrities and rummaging through voice messages left with the families of kidnapped victims, referred to the West Indian’s interview as: “sleazy.”

And what does Mr Live Wire think?

Photo: Australian television sport presenter Mel McLaughlin.
Photo: Australian television sport presenter Mel McLaughlin.

First, McLaughlin deserves the opportunity to get through her work day in peace without having to bat away unwanted advances. And she probably will once she crosses 50.

Second, the lightbulb that flashed over Gayle’s head as he produced his pick-up line was clearly on dim voltage. But then it must be hard to tell whether you are truly funny, handsome and charming when your bank balance has seven digits.

Gayle, sorry pal, but you are less (Morris) Chestnut and more Forest (Whitaker). And that can limit your options in terms of the women who blush at your advances.

Third, Gayle did not insult, grope or intimidate McLaughlin. He was simply childish, cocky and stupid. So perhaps the penalty should match the crime.

Photo: Neither of West Indies cricket stars Chris Gayle (right) and Dwayne Bravo have been shy about expressing their fondness for Australian television presenter Mel McLaughlin
Photo: Neither of West Indies cricket stars Chris Gayle (right) and Dwayne Bravo have been shy about expressing their fondness for Australian television presenter Mel McLaughlin

And, chances are when you have a microphone thrust at you as often as sport stars do, you will sometimes say some really stupid things.

Male reporter (in post-game press conference): “How long does it take you to get over the disappointment (of a loss)?”

Russian professional tennis star Maria Sharapova: “There is so much of good self-esteem when you speak. It is really nice… What was the question? I was just admiring your form.”

Chances are that if McLaughlin wants to take a stance against sexism in the workplace, she would not have to look as far as the Caribbean.

Channel Ten’s first response to Gayle was a slap on the back and, far from a private snicker, they shared the joke with the embarrassed television host and the rest of the world.

Photo: Chris Gayle was not the only one to get in a muddle over Mel McLaughlin. The Channel 10 social media team was not sure whether to praise Gayle or their own employee after the incident.
Photo: Chris Gayle was not the only one to get in a muddle over Mel McLaughlin.
The Channel 10 social media team was not sure whether to praise Gayle or their own employee after the incident.

Channel Ten tweet: “Gayle to @Mel_Mclaughlin: ‘Hopefully we can win this game & have a drink after. Don’t blush baby’ #smooth #BBLO5.”

It took another 10 minutes before Channel Ten’s social media manager recognised that maybe their employee wasn’t there as “eye food”, although the station still opted against rebuking the cricketer.

“Well played to our very own @Mel_Mclaughlin for staying professional during the interview. What a pro…”

Mr Live Wire does not want to cast aspersions but he has noticed over the years that, apart from the odd ex-world champion, female sport reporters at television stations tend to be strikingly attractive and generally blonde.

Photo: The Sunday Telegraph invited Australia's "top 18 female television personalities" for a photo shoot. (Copyright News.Com.Au)
Photo: The Sunday Telegraph invited Australia’s “top 18 female television personalities” for a photo shoot.
(Copyright News.Com.Au)

It is as though Tiger Woods hires them himself.

Whereas male reporters…

Photo: ESPN analyst and journalist Gabriel Marcotti.
Photo: ESPN analyst and journalist Gabriel Marcotti.
Photo: SportsMax presenter Simon Crosskill.
Photo: SportsMax presenter Simon Crosskill.
Photo: CCN TV6 sport host Serjio Du Four.
Photo: CCN TV6 sport host Serjio Du Four.

With all due respect to the gentlemen pictured above—who Mr Live Wire has the pleasure of all knowing professionally—none would probably reduce Serena Williams to a lustful, incoherent mess during a television interview. And, thankfully, we do not generally expect our male reporters to possess such powers.

The elephant in the room when it comes to the hiring of female reporters, so to speak, is a fox.

Which is not to say Gayle doesn’t deserve to be castigated for failing to read the wicket.

Sadly, poor Chris seems to be a relic from a bygone era who has struggled to come to grips with the 21st century and simply stands out like a sore thumb in progressive company.

Just like the West Indies cricket team.

Photo: West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron (left) and cricketer Chris Gayle (right) during happier times. (Courtesy WICB)
Photo: West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron (left) and cricketer Chris Gayle (right) during happier times.
(Courtesy WICB)

Editor’s Note: Chris Gayle subsequently apologised for his “simple joke” that was “blown way out of proportion.” Which sounded surprisingly close to Gayle saying: “you idiots just don’t get it.”

And Gayle was sweet enough to give his regrets to Mel McLaughlin with a sentence that included the word “if.” Awww… His apologies are as bad as his pick-up lines. But at least he patronised us.

(Full Chris Gayle “apology”)

“A lot of things have flared up from a simple comment, a joke, a simple joke on air and it seemed to went out of proportion.
“There wasn’t anything at all meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel and if she felt that way I’m really sorry for that. 
“There wasn’t any harm meant in that particular way to any particular person like that. 
“It was a simple joke, the game was going on. Entertainment, things get out of proportion but these things do happen.
“There wasn’t any harm done, I’ll leave it at that. I’m sorry for that, we’ll have to move on.”

Incidentally, former Australia World Cup and Everton footballer Tim Cahill and British television personality Piers Morgan both “get it” as evidenced by their tweets on the matter.

Photo: Former Australia World Cup footballer Tim Cahill and British television personality Piers Morgan were among scores of people who rallied behind West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle.
Photo: Former Australia World Cup footballer Tim Cahill and British television personality Piers Morgan were among scores of people who rallied behind West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

Check Also

nyasha-joseph-wpc-armed-ftr

Farewell Mrs Officer: How many murders will it take to puncture T&T’s self-delusion?

“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.” SE Hinton, The …

562 comments

  1. Hahahaha. Oh lawd Melina Hutchinson allyuh will kill Ravi Balgobin Maharaj yuh know

  2. Hahahaha. Oh gorm Melina… You have him between the headlights now!

  3. Ravi is thinking that the Aussies are racist because he and the others were outraged at the fact that a young, beautiful indian girl was dancing with Dr. Rowley.
    Ent Ravi, if it were a black girl you all wouldn’t have had a problem with it?
    So who is more racist, the UNC or the Aussies?
    Tell us Ravi.

  4. So Ravi Balgobin, are you and the UNC apologising to Rowley then?

  5. I’m not comparing the actions, I’m comparing the reactions.

  6. Ravi Balgobin Maharaj yuh come first, second and third comparing this to the PM carnival wine oui ??????

  7. And the indian girl was very much wining back on Rowley. As opposed to Mel who looked sea sick.

  8. Ravi Balgobin, you were leading the backlash against Rowley at the time! This is getting hilarious!

  9. Ok fine. If you all want a better example: this is the same as some of the backlash Rowley got during Carnival last year

  10. I feel Ravi could see racism in a pile of gravel.
    So simply because the reporter is a white Australian and the offender a black West Indian people’s disagreement with Gayle’s behavior is based on race?

    Well look Ravi pulling the black card faster than Luis Farrakhan yes!

  11. Make a better argument than: Aussies used to sledge us and it’s a black thing please.
    Wait, is this the UNC trying to appease black voters per chance Ravi Balgobin?
    Cause you misread the wicket as badly as Gayle I think.

  12. “The Australians” don’t think a black man should be flirting with a white woman Ravi Balgobin? And you worked that out all the way from your couch in Trinidad?
    Did you know that the first response of Mel’s Australian white colleagues was to laugh and call Gayle smooth? And that fellow white Australians egged on Bravo to also make advances to mel?
    And there are white Australians in every sector of life that are supporting Gayle right now?

  13. I not excusing what Gayle did. But at the same time, I’m highlighting the racism on the Australian’s part

  14. Of course race plays a part especially with the penalty, but Gayle was wrong, plain and simple. And his ‘apology’ didn’t help.

  15. To compare what Gayle did to McGrath insulting West Indies players is pretty daft Ravi Balgobin. You don’t know that some West Indies players were pretty good at sledging too and loved to fire back?
    What does exchanging words during a game have to do with harassing a female reporter? Steups.
    I believe the penalty is excessive to Gayle. But he was wrong.

  16. This isn’t a case of sexism as everybody claiming. This is clear racial discrimination against Gayle. The Australians clearly don’t think a black man should be flirting white a white girl

  17. I probably need stronger glasses because I still can’t see what there is to support.

  18. Good point yuh know Vernal Damion Cadogan…suppose that was your daughter interviewing Gayle, would the people saying it was all harmless fun feel the same way?

  19. Ravi might feel differently had his sister been the interviewer.

  20. Hahaha Vernal, Ravi is actually saying that Chris Gayle is being judged by Twitter and is unfairly treated. I see Fuad Abu Bakr just posted in support of Gayle as well.

  21. Vernal Damion Cadogan I actually defending the man somewhat

  22. bet he watch his chupid comments now doh

  23. Like I said the guy made a mistake and was fined, that should have been enough. Instead they are trying to take bread out of his mouth, trying to kill his career.

  24. Oh God ….. now we go hear hpw Chris Gayle is ah PNM!

  25. Eli Mark, you can post the video here. We don’t really want new threads on it.

  26. It is not that the Sharapova or any of the other incidents excuses what he did. THEY WERE ALL WRONG.

    The difference is that they weren’t vilified, fined and threatened with loss of their job.

    The issue is the hypocrisy and deeply unequal treatment this incident has prompted. The response has been completely out of proportion compared to the others.

    I watched the one with Casillas kissing the reporter in shock that he did so but more that the incident didn’t receive the widespread coverage that this did.

    Chris Gayle was wrong but the reaction is totally different to how the white stars who crossed the line were treated.

  27. “So no, I am not averse to Chris Gayle having the liveliest of sex lives. Of infinitely greater concern is the current argument that his behaviour can be excused on the basis that Maria Sharapova once flirted with a journalist. Why should one excuse the other? The idea it should is born of the mindset that fancies itself supremely logical on the basis that it strips every encounter of cultural context or nuance.

    It is the argument of those who excuse blackface on the basis that the Wayans brothers once whited up for a movie, or wonder why it’s wrong to call Jews “Yids” when some Spurs fans refer thus to themselves. Such people know just enough not publicly to suggest that the N-word is OK because you hear it in rap – but only just, and only out of commercial self-preservation.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/jan/06/chris-gayle-controversy-sexist-women-cricket

  28. Maybe this quote is more relevant:
    “So no, I am not averse to Chris Gayle having the liveliest of sex lives. Of infinitely greater concern is the current argument that his behaviour can be excused on the basis that Maria Sharapova once flirted with a journalist. Why should one excuse the other? The idea it should is born of the mindset that fancies itself supremely logical on the basis that it strips every encounter of cultural context or nuance.

    It is the argument of those who excuse blackface on the basis that the Wayans brothers once whited up for a movie, or wonder why it’s wrong to call Jews “Yids” when some Spurs fans refer thus to themselves. Such people know just enough not publicly to suggest that the N-word is OK because you hear it in rap – but only just, and only out of commercial self-preservation.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/jan/06/chris-gayle-controversy-sexist-women-cricket

  29. Some people said Chris would have never been harassed if he was white. I show a white person getting into trouble for sexist comments and you call it irrelevant, Kelvin?

  30. I thought this was interesting for people who say Australia would never have minded if Chris Gayle was white.
    Well, here’s how Australia dealt with the lily white and universally popular Frank Sinatra: (Source UK Guardian)
    “As for Gayle, he has been relieved of $10,000 by his Melbourne Renegades chairman, who somewhat excruciatingly reckoned it was just “cultural differences” (well done, mate!). He has issued a non-apology apology on his way out of the airport – a detail that reminded me he is certainly not the greatest entertainer to have had unfortunate dealings with women reporters in Australia. That honour belongs to Frank Sinatra, who in 1974 took it upon himself to discourse on the country’s female journalists live on stage in Melbourne’s festival hall. “As for the broads who work for the press,” he opined, “they’re the hookers of the press. I might offer them a buck-and-a-half, I’m not sure.”
    They used to say “it’s Frank’s world; we just live in it” – but at that moment in time Australia declined to be part of Frank’s world. The reaction was swift and comically stunning. The Australian press demanded he apologise; Sinatra refused. By noon the next day, the unions were involved, and airport refuellers flatly refused to fill his Gulfstream, while terminal staff announced none of their number would serve him. For the next few days, Sinatra ended up marooned and under siege on the 23rd floor of a Sydney hotel. It took the arbitration and conciliation services of Bob Hawke – then the ragingly popular leader of the Australian Council of Trade Unions – to get Sinatra to sign a grudging apology, which finally permitted him to escape the country.”

  31. Why would they ban a major draw like Gayle from the Big Bash? The economics don’t make sense.

  32. Well if Chris had said that he would be fine. But he didn’t did he?

  33. Allyuh on kicks yes. She said you’re handsome and I’m blushing. You all think that was a pick up line?

  34. Colin.. So many examples it’s scary.. And it’s not to justify Gayle’s supposed inappropriateness.. It’s a total non issue and the way the guy is being portrayed is quite disgusting.. If I were Gayle I would tell them exactly what I thought of their crap.. As I said he is Jamaican.. Probably as hard as nails so he would cope no problem..

  35. Prince, you want the Aussie press to protest about what we allow Danny Morrison to get away with in the Caribbean? Seriously?!

  36. Lasana Liburd Morrison has to Caribbean ladies on air and nothing ever came of it. Isn’t he Australian? The Aussie press is blowing this out of proportion

  37. The Barraclough woman said
    it perfectly!!! Beautiful article perfect sense!!!

  38. “I’m sorry that I crossed the line with Ms. McLaughlin, who was doing her job with her usual professionalism. I guess I got caught up in the moment and slipped into the type of banter that is common between men and women back in the Caribbean. I certainly meant no disrespect and I have apologized to her personally for the gaffe on my part.” A statement like that from CG at the outset might have prevented this whole episode from snowballing the way it has. Just saying!

  39. India is not exactly renowned for its care and respect of women. So I don’t foresee too much backlash for Gayle in the IPL.
    NatWest? That depends. It won’t be a moral decision. Just straight cash. Whether they think he will help the tournament to earn or lose money. That’s it.
    And in the Caribbean? Anything goes here Mel. Don’t blush baby! 🙂

  40. I’m sure he’ll be at the IPL, CPL and the NatwestBlast