Gayle fined by Cricket Aus­tralia for his com­ments to a re­porter

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By SHANE JONES

THERE is a time and a place for flirt­ing and on Mon­day night Chris Gayle chose the wrong time.

For those who missed the Big Bash match, Chris Gayle tried to flirt with Mel McLaugh­lin af­ter get­ting out for 41 from just 15 de­liv­er­ies in the Mel­bourne Rene­gades’ five-wicket win over Ho­bart.

At­tempt­ing to win over the Net­work 10 com­men­ta­tor, Gayle said: “I wanted to come and have an in­ter­view with you as well, that’s the rea­son why I’m here.”

He added he was hop­ing to have a drink with her later and told her “don’t blush baby” af­ter she was taken aback by his com­ments.

Since the com­ments plenty of peo­ple have come out and sup­ported both Gayle and McLaugh­lin.

Even posters on Face­book have had their say, with most com­ing out in sup­port of Gayle and say­ing it was harm­less fun.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Big Bash and the broad­caster, this isn’t be­ing viewed that way.

Cricket Aus­tralia handed Gayle a $10,000 fine, with the net­work also stand­ing up for its em­ployee.

Since the in­ci­dent McLaugh­lin has gone into hid­ing with no posts on so­cial me­dia de­spite us­ing Twit­ter ev­ery day since the tour­na­ment be­gan last month.

While I don’t con­demn flirt­ing, and try­ing to chat up the op­po­site sex in the right way, I do have a prob­lem with it when some­one is try­ing to do their job.

She was ha­rassed by the West In­dian opener and clearly showed she didn’t ap­prove of it with her body lan­guage when he started com­ment­ing.

Gayle then con­tin­ued to flirt in the same way un­til McLaugh­lin con­cluded the in­ter­view.

For peo­ple who think it was harm­less fun, con­sider this. McLaugh­lin was made un­com­fort­able and it put her in a po­si­tion she didn’t want to be in.

In any work­place en­vi­ron­ment you don’t ex­pect to be put in those po­si­tions and McLaugh­lin didn’t de­serve what she copped on Mon­day night.

Be­ing a fe­male sports jour­nal­ist in the in­dus­try is tough. I know that be­cause I went to univer­sity and worked closely with a few.

Most are knowl­edge­able in sports and understand the field just as well as their male col­leagues.

Un­for­tu­nately though they are sub­jected to all kinds of gen­der com­ments purely for the fact they are fe­males try­ing to make waves in an in­dus­try that for the most part is male dom­i­nated.

Sce­nar­ios like Mon­day night’s are not go­ing to help and that is sad.

All jour­nal­ists should be able to do their job, and all should have an equal op­por­tu­nity to per­form well, with­out be­ing sub­jected to flirt­ing and com­ments about their gen­der.

This whole sit­u­a­tion is also sad be­cause it de­tracts from what has been a won­der­ful Big Bash tour­na­ment.

It also takes away the gloss of what Chris Gayle does on the cricket field.

As he showed on Mon­day night he is a player who can bring fans to the game.

Un­for­tu­nately he ru­ined the spec­ta­cle with his im­ma­ture com­ments.

While his apol­ogy and fine were great, more needs to be done to pre­vent it hap­pen­ing again.

All jour­nal­ists should feel com­fort­able in their job and on Mon­day night that was bro­ken.

If you want to flirt, and make im­ma­ture com­ments, find a bet­ter place to do it or don’t say it at all.

In any work­place en­vi­ron­ment you don’t ex­pect to be put in those po­si­tions and McLaugh­lin didn’t de­serve what she copped.

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