More women accuse Chris Gayle, the cricketer fined for ‘inappropriate’ comments

Cricketer Chris Gayle made the comments during a game in Hobart. © Dinuka Liyanawatte
A West Indies cricketer has been fined AU$10,000 (US$7,200) by his club for “inappropriate and disrespectful” comments made to a female journalist live on air - and it’s not the first time he’s been criticized for his behavior.

Australia’s Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin didn’t react favorably to Chris Gayle asking her out during a game in Tasmania on Sunday.

“I wanted to have an interview with you, that’s the reason I am here, to see your eyes for the first time. So hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after...don’t blush, baby,” he said to McLaughlin, who quickly replied: “I’m not blushing.”

Gayle later apologised for the comments, telling reporters in Melbourne Airport that it was a joke and was not meant to be “disrespectful or offensive to Mel, if she felt that way I’m really sorry for that.”

He ended the apology abruptly when asked by a reporter why McLaughlin should be made feel uncomfortable in work.

Gayle got frustrated and asked the reporter “Did she tell you she was uncomfortable?”

When the journalist replied that “she told her boss she was uncomfortable”, Gayle interrupted and left saying “have a good day.”

Speaking Tuesday on Network 10, McLaughlin said she accepted the apology and just wanted to “move on”. She added that his comments were “disappointing” especially after he had played so well.

In a statement, Gayle’s club, the Melbourne Renegades, said they had talked to Gayle and that “he has acknowledged that his comments were out of line. We would also like to formally apologize to our members, supporters and the wider public for offense caused.” The club also apologized to McLaughlin in the statement.

Asked about the reaction from female journalists who have highlighted the case as an example for their struggle against sexual harassment in the workplace, McLaughlin said she hadn't felt “a certain stigma that people like to talk about with women in sport.”

An Australian woman who wished to remain unidentified told Fairfax Media Tuesday that Gayle exposed himself to her at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney. She said that Gayle pulled down his towel, partially exposing his genitals in a changing room, and asked "are you looking for this?"

Sports journalist Neroli Meadows, who previously worked with McLaughlin, told Melbourne radio 3AW said that Gayle was a “creep” and “repeat offender”, noting that she had a similar incident with the cricketer.

Journalist Fleta Page has also spoken out against Gayle saying she too was propositioned by him.

In 2014, Gayle made similar comments to a female journalist at a Caribbean Premier League (CPL) press conference in Antigua in response to her question “how does the pitch feel so far in terms of the training (and) the weather?”

He replied: “Well I haven’t touched yours yet so I don’t know how it feels” and then added “I like your smile; that’s nice.”

Despite complaints from the group Women Against Rape, Gayle did not apologize and the CPL defended the comment saying his comments didn’t qualify as offensive since the woman in question was not upset by them.

Despite the overwhelmingly negative response to Gayle’s comments, British TV host and former newspaper editor Piers Morgan has defended the cricketer saying he was simply being “a bit cheeky”.

Gayle took his “joke” one step further on Twitter by claiming his pockets were empty because of the fine, which was donated to charity.

Pockets are empty so @djbravo47 paying the dinner bill tonight ... Let's roll DJ. #Champion

A photo posted by Chris Gayle (@chrisgayle333) on