West Indian cricket star batsman Chris Gayle has drawn sharp criticism after making a pass at Network Ten journalist Mel McLaughlin during a post-innings interview.
Gayle, 36, had just been dismissed for a quick-fire 41 off 15 balls in the Melbourne Renegades’ comfortable win over the Hobart Hurricanes, but the live interview quickly steered away from cricket, with the opening batsman asking McLaughlin if she wanted to come out for a drink with him, before quickly adding “don’t blush baby”.
According to a report on YouTube, McLaughlin seemed bemused at the proposition, before tersely responding “I’m not blushing” as Gayle awkwardly laughed the comment off. There were audible sniggers from the commentary booth as the interview was happening.
The presenter brushed the incident off and attempted to steer the conversation back to the match, and a potential hamstring injury for Gayle.
Network Ten came under fire online for a tweet from its Ten Sport account that described Gayle’s come-on as “smooth”. It deleted the tweet after being criticised. The secretary of Victoria’s Trades Hall Council accused the network of joking about workplace harassment.
A separate report on the incident that appeared in the Jamaica Gleaner quoted Gayle as saying: “To see your eyes for the first time is nice. Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don’t blush”.
The Gleaner said he was responding to a question from Ten Sport’s Melanie McLaughlin about his aggressive batting style after scoring 41 runs from 15 balls for the Melbourne Renegades.
BBL head Anthony Everard said they will be talking to Gayle and the Renegades about it.