West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has launched a new spray at television presenter Mel McLaughlin, saying she walked into the sexist comments she received from him earlier this year adding that his behaviour was meant as “a joke”.
Speaking to The Guardian earlier this week, the 36-year-old record-breaking batsman opened up about his behaviour at the January Big Bash match held in Melbourne, continuing to claim he did nothing wrong and that was everyone else had the problem.
Chris Gayle. Source: Facebook.
"They knew the person they are interviewing," Gayle told interviewer Donald McRae, continuing, "They knew the person is like that. So it wasn’t any surprise to anyone. Not even the interviewer, Mel. She knew exactly how the West Indians are."
Controversy first arose when Gayle commented on McLaughlin's eyes, asked her out on air and uttered the now infamous line: "don't blush, baby", while her male commentators could be heard laughing in the background.
Mel McLaughlin at the 2015 Women in Sport Awards. Source: Getty.
Public outcry followed the comments, with Gayle given a $10,000 fine and made to issue a public apology before leaving Australia. What McLaughlin and the country eventually got was a rambling semblance of acknowledgement that suggested once again, that she and the country had simply not gotten his joke.
“It was just a joke," he reiterated. "The players are laughing. They know I like to clown around. She knew it as well," Gayle continued before adding, "But you’re a woman in an environment with men. You’re good-looking. What do you expect?"
McLaughlin's interview with Chris Gayle. Post continues...
But in the same interview, which was to promote the release of his forthcoming autobiography, Gayle also spoke at length about a female school teacher that had equipped him with self-belief and the importance of strong women, as well as the racism he feels the West Indies team receives from the cricketing community and the double standards he and teammates are forced to work against.
Mel McLaughlin at a media event last year. Source: Getty.
If his previous comments weren't enough, Gayle also explained that McLaughlin should have known what to expect from him because "She’s of West Indian background. She knows the culture. From what I understand her mom is black. What do they call it? Samosa?”
He meant Samoan.
"So she knows. But people put things in her ears – just to slaughter Chris Gayle," he continued.
What Gayle doesn't seem to realise though, is that just because his behaviour exists as a cultural norm doesn't mean it's not sexist. And it doesn't mean it shouldn't be stamped out and eradicated from society.