An unrepentant Chris Gayle has marked the anniversary of his infamous sexist interview with sports reporter Mel McLaughlin by posting graphic videos to social media and telling Australia to “lighten the **** Up!!!”.
Gayle made headlines last January when he told McLaughlin “don’t blush baby” after making comments about her appearance during a Big Bash League post-innings interview on Network Ten.
The West Indian batsman was fined $10,000 by his team, the Melbourne Renegades, for the incident and made to apologise to McLaughlin for causing her discomfort.
He was not invited back for this BBL season.
Gayle’s apology at the time was less than convincing – explaining away the incident as a “simple joke” that was “blown way out of proportion” – and he has consistently made light of the matter since.
His posts on various social media on Wednesday (AEDT) left viewers in no doubt as to his true feelings about the matter and Australia’s reaction to it.
The videos, all of which were filmed at the ULTRA Carnival on the Caribbean island of St Kitts and Nevis, showed Gayle and wife Natasha Berridge dressed in costume, engaging in an explicit dance known as “daggering” in the West Indies, which simulates intercourse.
The New Daily deemed the footage too graphic to reproduce here.
One of the posts, published on the official Chris Gayle Facebook page, was viewed by more than 300,000 people by late Wednesday evening, and attracted more than 950 comments, both supportive and critical.
Gayle also posted additional lewd dancing footage to his Instagram account, but it was either deleted or the account switched to private.
Lesson not learned
After leaving Australia under a cloud, Gayle found himself at the centre of another sexism scandal in May after an interview with female reporter Charlotte Edwardes, in which he asked her intimate questions about her sex life and suggested women should “please their man”.
In the opening paragraph of her piece, Edwardes, a writer for the Evening Standard, The Times and Tatler, referenced the now infamous McLaughlin incident.
“I’m having a drink with Chris Gayle. Yup, I’m doing what Mel McLaughlin, the Australian sports broadcaster, declined to do when the cricketing superstar and former West Indies captain propositioned her during a live interview in January,” she wrote.
The seasoned features writer recounted being asked incredibly personal questions by Gayle, who joked that he had “a very, very big bat” and asked Edwardes if she could lift it, saying, “You’d need two hands”.
“He asks how many black men I’ve ‘had’, goading me when I deflect the question, and whether I’ve ever had a ‘t’eesome’ – ‘I bet you have. Tell me’.”
Gayle, who often shares social media snaps of himself and various women who are not his partner, said Jamaican people had a more relaxed view of sex than other nationalities.
In June, Gayle told The Guardian that his comments to McLaughlin were “blown out of proportion”.
“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?”
Gayle also published a memoir in the past year – Six Machine co-written by BBC sports writer Tom Fordyce.