Big Bash cricketer Chris Gayle has been slapped with a $10,000 fine for his slimy hit on Mel McLaughlin.
Sports journalist McLaughlin says she accepts the West Indian star’s apology but remains disappointed at his sexist behaviour and now just wants to get on with her job.
“I don’t really want to be the subject of such conversations, I like just going about my business and doing my job,” McLaughlin told Channel 10, the Big Bash League’s host broadcaster.
“It’s definitely a good thing people are talking… we want equality, we always want equality,” she added.
Gayle’s controversial remarks came as McLaughlin interviewed the big hitter live on the sidelines on Monday night immediately after another of his stellar innings for the Melbourne Renegades (see video, above).
When McLaughlin asked for his thoughts on his aggressive approach to the innings, Gayle began flirting with the presenter.
“Definitely. I mean, I wanted to come on and be interviewed by you as well. That’s the reason why I’m here.
“So, 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.”
A visibly uncomfortable McLaughlin replied, “I’m not blushing.”
The comments drew and almost immediate on-air apology to viewers from McLaughlin’s fellow commentators and kicked off a storm on social media.
On Tuesday, Gayle offered an apology but insisted it was just “a joke”.
It is being alleged now though that Gayle is something of a serial pest when it comes to women in sport.
On Tuesday, Fairfax Media reported a woman claiming he exposed himself to her in a dressing room during last year’s cricket World Cup in Australia. As he dropped his towel, the woman alleges he said: “Are you looking for this?”
Meanwhile, Fox Sport’s Neroli Meadows, a former colleague of McLaughlin’s, has labelled Gayle a “repeat offender”.
“He does it purely to humiliate that person in that public arena,” Meadows told radio station 3AW
“He does it constantly and he has done it over a number of years.
“You can say that Chris Gayle is never going to change – that’s fine, and he probably won’t. But what should change is the reaction to what Chris Gayle does.
“It’s not funny. It’s just not.”
And it’s not even the first time a Big Bash cricketer has singled out McLaughlin for special attention.
Two years ago, Dwayne Bravo offered a special mention of the journalist after receiving a Big Bash man of the match award.
“I just want to say hello to Mel, beautiful Mel. I was lucky enough to meet her once in Sydney. I just want to say hi and I see she’s still looking beautiful.”
As the vision cut back to McLaughlin in the studio and who appeared embarrassed, co-commentator and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting said, “That was slightly uncomfortable.”