Chris Gayle fined $10k for comments to TV reporter
UPDATE: THE Melbourne Renegades has fined Chris Gayle $10,000 over comments he made to a reporter on live TV.
Channel 10's Mel McLaughlin got quite a shock when the cricketer asked her on a date if they won and told her "don't blush baby".
The Renegades plan to donate the money to the McGrath Foundation.
Melbourne Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry said Gayle's comments were inappropriate and disrespectful.
"There is simply no place for these type of comments at the Melbourne Renegades," Coventry said in a statement.
"The club would like to extend a formal apology to Mel McLaughlin. Mel is an outstanding sports presenter. We think of her very highly and the club and players will ensure we work with her in a professional and respectful manner in future.
"We've had several discussions with Chris over the past day and he has acknowledged that is comments were out of line. We would also like to fomally apologise to our members, supporters and the wider public for offence caused. The club is based on values of respect towards every member of the community."
EARLIER: CRICKET authorities say Chris Gayle has gone too far this time and intend to grill him over "disrespectful and simply inappropriate" comments to an Australian female television interviewer.
Cricket Australia and Gayle's Big Bash franchise the Melbourne Renegades have already reacted this morning as anger over the big-hitting West Indian's attitude mounted across the Tasman following the interview with Channel 10 boundary rider Mel McLaughlin.
And the television network has also entered the fray by saying it would strip its microphone off the controversial superstar for the rest of the Big Bash League season and seek an apology.
Gayle sent social media into meltdown when he openly flirted with McLaughlin in his on-field interview after he was dismissed for a brilliant 41 (15 balls).
"I wanted to have an interview with you as well, that's why I'm here," Gayle said live on national television. "I get to see your eyes for the first time, it's nice. Hopefully we can win and go for a drink after.
"Don't blush baby."
A clearly uncomfortable McLaughlin finished the interview with class before Ten's main commentator Mark Howard classed Gayle's remarks as inappropriate.
BBL boss Anthony Everard said there was: "Just no place in the BBL - or, for that matter, cricket anywhere - for that sort of behaviour".
A key focus of the Big Bash is to engage new audiences headed by females and kids.
Everard said the league would "certainly" be talking to Gayle while Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry said "there is just no place for that sort of behaviour".
"The Melbourne Renegades is club all about its appeal to kids, families and females," Coventry said.
Channel 10 head of sport David Barham launched a staunch defence of McLaughlin.
"We won't be using (Gayle) in the game anymore," he told the Melbourne Herald Sun.
"Unless things change in the next few days, it's not happening," he said.
Barham said Channel 10 prided itself on promoting women in sport.
Ten tweeted but deleted Gayle's sexist comment and Mark Howard condemned the Jamaican as inappropriate, particularly after Cricket Australia's impressive launch of the Women's Big Bash League.
The tweet contained the hashtag #smooth and there were audible sniggers from the commentary box during the interview.
Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield labelled the exchange "pathetic" in a string of public backlash against the Jamaican.
Cricket Australia told clubs a key objective of this summer was to boost female interest and it successfully launched the Women's Big Bash League last month.
Gayle last night retweeted Piers Morgan, who defended the veteran, to his 2.7 million followers.
"I'm absolutely outraged that everyone's so absolutely outraged by @henrygayle being a bit cheeky to a female TV reporter," Morgan tweeted.
Gayle is expected to issue a public apology soon.
But that hasn't stopped mounting criticism.
Prominent Sydney-based veteran sports reporter Debbie Spillane lamented the episode and commented on social media: "You think progress is being made when you see a highly competent and professional sports reporter like Mel McLaughlin in action. And then Chris Gayle treats his post match interview like a pick up opportunity. And blokes all around Australia say how amusing it is. I give up."
Lisa Olsen, an American sports reporter who caused controversy in the 1990s during reporting stints in the United States and Australia when NFL and rugby league coaches refused to let her enter dressing rooms for post-match interviews, tweeted: "Back to the dark ages we go."
- nzherald and news.com.au