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.

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562 comments

  1. steupsss …that is my comment to the whole scene…

  2. As for the Rowley issue that has been raised; please remember that a 65 year old married man was gyrating on a half naked 17 year old child….but I guess that’s proper in PNM world. Is it that there are different standards for persons based on your political affiliation? Wrong for UNC, right for PNM?

  3. Could it be that the move to get Gayle out of Australia has nothing to do with Mel but with the fact that he just demolished the bowling of his opponents? Could it be that Mel was just a perfect excuse, that came at the perfect time?

    Could it be similar to what was done to Sunil Narine last year when the owner of Chenai Super Kings who was in an influential position in the ICC and BCCI ensured that Narine did not play in the final against CSK? And that the ICC sought another bowling test – despite Narine having passed the first one?
    Politics and profit in sport orgs go hand in hand.

    Gayle’s Mgt team should be dismissed. This matter could have been handled much better had a proper apology been given. Gayle’s Mgt team could have spun this to his favour. They all failed.

  4. I saw a interview with Bravo talking about Mel,l guess Gayle saw it too and thought it was a cool scn,but as a public figure he should have the brain to realize when it started going sour and end it.

  5. Ravi Balgobin Maharaj has added on Chris Gayle debate I see.

  6. Jusso he does walk een the people dance, puhm and bunx!

  7. Quote: Originally Posted By: rasputin
    Chris Gayle Fined $10,000

    http://www.onenewspage.com/n/Front+Page/759ghbgv0/Chris-Gayle-avoids-suspension-over-don-blush.htm

    Idiot move by CG but its not the first.. Biting the hand that feed him.

    Need fi watch himself before him become another Bill Cosby and women dem start lining up and hit you with law suits…

  8. Usain bolt is an example of class and professionalism. he should try to learn a thing or two from his book

  9. Pleanty Jakans fighting down Gayle over his bad actions

  10. Kick-ah-fuss?
    He created the fuss, now he’ comparing the fuss about Gayle to the fuss he created about Rowley to show how it’s racially motivated.

    This man could be in government AND opposition at the same time!

  11. Didnt he also kick a fuss about the whine the now PM had gotten/taken in 2015?

  12. And the fellah used to work in UWI..
    I probably need a refund on meh degree

  13. Ah bet yuh eef Rowley did tell Tanty dat in Parliament, Balgobin would ah know it wrong.
    In fack he woulda say Rowley racial! Hahaha

  14. Ravi Balgobin Maharaj I owe you a sincere apology, I have wronged you.

    Formerly I was positive that you were a racist UNC sycophant minion who’s sole purpose in life was to discredit the PNM in order to promote the tribe to political, economic and social dominance of Trinidad and Tobago …… but now I see that your misguidance is deeper than that …… your seriously demented!

  15. hear nah…the urge to resist cussing in response to Ravi is REAL inno

  16. You all could promote your racism as much as you want. I will fight against it as much as I can

  17. Did you ask relevant questions (to racism) when the entire UNC was upset because the Doc took a wine on an Indian Guyal in South last year Ravi Balgobin Maharaj?

  18. But really you have to see the tweets to understand it

  19. Someone please get Ravi some help nah…ah ent think he go be able to survive de next 5 years.

  20. No because it’s the same thing, where tens of thousands of racists protested on Twitter and social media against John Boyega starring in Star Wars because they felt his character was written as a white man, but cast as a black

  21. OMG!!!! Ravi we ALL live on Planet Earth…nobody is disputing that there are racists on it…STOP TALKING ASSERY NOW NAH

  22. Again, does anyone here know about the protests regarding John Boyega starring in Star Wars?

  23. Wait wait wait wait wait …..I think I’ve discovered the Rosetta Stone to the mind of Mr Maharaj.

    Ravi Balgobin Maharaj were you trying to say that some of the criticism of Gayle was due not to his behavior itself but rather the racism of those particular critics?

  24. How is it that no one cried ‘racism’ when Gayle tried the same faux pas at the female reporter in Antigua 2014 and everyone was outraged and protesting?

  25. Because racists spouted off doesn’t mean all criticism is racist. There were a lot of racist attacks on Steve Harvey too.
    What does that mean? Racists tricked him into anointing Miss Colombia?

  26. Ravi hated the FACT that Rowley wined ona little Indain during carnival lol

  27. Ravi….1) Do you know what the word “describe” means? 2) -_- on that jackass execute comment

  28. But let me ask you all this. If the Cricket Australia had to authority to execute Gayle for this, and they condemned him to death, would you be ok with it?

  29. The racist element from the Twitter backlash right after the incident happened

  30. What racist element are you referring to?
    Describe it!

  31. It’s even worst when people who haven’t experienced the particular brand of racism they are alleging ascribe it to others.
    It devalues it, trivializes it in instances where it does occur.

    It’s bad enough to cry wolf, but it’s worse when you assume someone else is crying wolf.

  32. If the two fasts Ravi went on didn’t kill him, nothing will kill him….lol.

  33. But it needs to be discussed. Again I reiterate that I am in no way excusing what Chris Gayle did, of saying that he shouldn’t be punished. But we cannot turn a blind eye to the racist elements as well

  34. “A witch-hunt must ensue. Fines must be imposed, careers ruined, individuals barred. The magnitude of the offence seems immaterial; an inconsequential incident generates the type of indignation that used to be reserved for serious transgressions.”

    A direct quote from the article you posted Lasana.. This is such a clear racist and overblown non issue.. Days have passed and I’m even more steadfast in my view..the girl Mel didn’t like Gayle’s advances.. Trust me, if it was Tom Cruise we would have watched her turn red as Rudolf’s nose.. Just farcical..

  35. The introduction of race into the debate surrounding this incident as some sort of counterpoint to attempt to diminish the outrage, disgust and repulsion that those of us (predominantly women) feel about Gayle’s behaviour might be more sexist that what Gayle actually did.

  36. I realize that among the things I took for granted that most people could readily identify are sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances …… and what constitutes racism ….. definitely what constitutes racism!

  37. I suppose Chris Gayle was just sledging Mel McLaughlin! Hahaha

  38. So Ravi Balgobin, please draw up a list for me. What things can I get away with because Glenn McGrath gave Brian Lara picong on a cricket pitch?
    I will find an Australian Consulate now!

  39. And regarding Australian picong on the cricket pitch, I remember playing cricket against a side from Barrackpoor and they made constant mother jokes while I was at bat when I was a teen.

    I couldn’t get mad because I knew the older fellas on my team were famous for doing the same.
    Anybody who’s ever put on a cricket uniform knows it’s part of the game.