A cricket star’s comments to a female reporter during an interview broadcast live on Australian television is drawing scorn.
Chris Gayle, who plays for the Melbourne Renegades of the Big Bash League, while leading his team to a win Monday night, suggested to television reporter Mel McLaughlin that the pair go out for a drink. He added, “Don’t blush, baby,” during an awkward pause in the interview.
The comments drew heavy criticism on social media and were described by Anthony Everard, head of the BBL, as “disrespectful and simply inappropriate.”
Channel 10 head of sport David Barham was quoted by the Herald Sun newspaper as saying the network was deeply offended and was seeking an apology.
The BBL, one of a growing number of domestic Twenty20 cricket tournaments, is a TV ratings winner in Australia and drew a crowd of 80,000 for a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over the weekend.
“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.”
As part of the broadcasts, some players wear cameras on their caps or batting helmets and are involved in live interviews during the action.
Barham told the Sun Herald that Gayle would no longer be fitted with a microphone for on-field comments.
Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry said he agreed that Gayle’s comments were out of line.
“We’ll certainly be talking to him in association with Cricket Australia about it,” Coventry said. “The Melbourne Renegades is all about its appeal to kids, families and females.
“There’s just no place for that sort of behavior.”
With AP and News.com.au