Chris Gayle believes broadcaster Mel McLaughlin should have expected to be propositioned on live television before their now-infamous Big Bash League interview.
McLaughlin, then working for Network Ten, spoke to Gayle – playing for the Melbourne Renegades – after he had been dismissed during a match in January in Hobart.
The West Indian told McLaughlin he was happy to speak with her “just to see your eyes for the first time” and said they should go for a drink after the match.
He then added: “Don’t blush, baby.” Gayle was fined $10,000 for his comments and it is unlikely the Renegades will re-sign him again after the media storm.
“They [Network Ten] knew the person they are interviewing. They know the person is like that,” he said.
“So it wasn’t any surprise to anyone. Not even the interviewer, Mel. She knew exactly how the West Indians are.
“It was just a joke. The players are laughing. They know I like to clown around.
“She knew it as well. She was laughing before the interview and saying: ‘Guys, stop it, stop laughing.’
“But you’re a woman in an environment with men. You’re good looking. What do you expect?
“People are going to make jokes. I’ve seen people kiss the same Mel on live television. There are double standards.
“All the commentary guys found it amusing – but then someone whisper in their ears and everything was blown out of proportion.
“Everybody is entitled to their opinion. She got more bad press than me. The public gave her the bad press.
“She was the one who looked bad – not me.”
‘She knows the culture’
Gayle then added that McLaughlin was not upset by his remarks, despite comments from her to the contrary.
“If she was upset, she would’ve said it,” he said.
“At no stage did she say she felt offended by me. Then they wanted an apology and she came on air and said: ‘He’s apologised – so let it go everybody.’
“You could tell she had been forced to say those things. Trust me. She’s of West Indian background. She knows the culture.
“From what I understand her mum is black. What do they call it? Samosa?”
When quizzed if he meant Samoan, Gayle said: “Yeah. So she knows. But people put things in her ears – just to slaughter Chris Gayle.”
Gayle was then asked what his response would be if his daughter, born in April, was put in a similar position.
He said: “If you put yourself there, you have to expect that. You have to deal with it.
“Not all situations are going to be the best. You have to brace yourself. You have to be professional, yes, but expect the unexpected at all times.”
Gayle doesn’t rule out a Test return
In the extensive interview, Gayle accused The Times reporter Charlotte Edwardes of heavily twisting his comments in an explosive interview published last month.
He also said that a return to Test cricket, despite being 36, was “possible” and “could happen next year”.
McLaughlin has since left Network Ten to take up a role with Channel Seven in Sydney.
The 36-year-old reads sports news in Sydney five nights a week and will be part of the station’s 2016 Olympic Games coverage.