During a live interview, cricketer Chris Gayle complimented and then asked out a television journalist. His indiscretion has got Gayle into trouble with cricket administrators in Australia, where he is playing for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.
“I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well,” Gayle told Mel McLaughlin during the interview. “That's the reason why I'm here, 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.”
Here's a clip of the incident:
Gayle has been roundly criticised for his behaviour. Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland described Gayle’s act as “borderline harassment” of a female professional trying to do her job. The cricketer has been handed a $10,000 fine by this team. “It's Chris Gayle's workplace, it's also Mel McLaughlin's workplace and those sorts of comments border on harassment and are completely inappropriate in cricket, inappropriate in a workplace,” Sutherland said.
Gayle has since apologised. “There wasn't anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel. If she felt that way, I'm really sorry for that,” Gayle said. “There wasn't any harm meant in that particular way, to harm any particular person in any particular way like that. It was a simple joke - the game was going on. Things get out of proportion but these things happen.”
While Sutherland and co. have made all the right noises about the incident, social media was quick to point out a similar incident from January 2014 when tennis star Maria Sharapova started fawning over a male journalist at a press conference.
There were no sanctions on Sharapova for her comments. Double standards?