Shooting the Gayle-farce breeze

Debbie Spillane Columnist

By Debbie Spillane, Debbie Spillane is a Roar Expert

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    You’re sick of hearing the kind of reaction generated by Chris Gayle’s sideline chat up of Mel McLaughlin on Monday night?

    I’m sick of it too.

    Been sick of it for 32 years and counting.

    Sick of hearing that sportsmen should be able to talk to you like you’re a paid groupie and if you’re not flattered, titillated and tempted by their sleazy drivel you have no sense of humour.

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    Yes, how Gayle behaved towards one of Australia’s most respected female sports presenters has been totally blown out of all proportion.

    On a scale of ‘common-or-garden jerk’ to ‘grossly heinous, groping and slobbering neanderthal’ – they’re out there, I’ve interviewed them and worked with them – I’d rate Gayle on his most recent performance just a ‘mildly irritating tosser with an inflated ego and hackneyed pick-up lines’.

    Most women encounter this tiresome creature in nightclubs or bars and you can see them coming with shirt unbuttoned down the torso, heavy gold chain around the neck and self-important strut. You’re ready for it. Mel would be able to smack a good dozen of those suckers to the boundary in the space of a Marlon Samuels innings.

    But this wasn’t a bar, or a nightclub, or a social setting. It was a workplace, and that’s the only reason Mel was momentarily thrown.

    A massively public workplace as well, with a live national TV audience watching. That was the awkwardness of it all. You can’t say what he deserves to have said to him because you’re the professional. The grown-up.

    It wasn’t that the comments were especially offensive – any female sports journalist who’s been in the game for five minutes has copped ten times worse than that off-camera or behind the scenes – they were just inappropriate and certainly not in any way an answer to the legitimate cricket question she asked him.

    I tweeted at the time that it wasn’t smooth or clever, because I suspected Gayle thought it was.

    That’s not outrage. Or a feminist diatribe.

    It’s a comment from what I like to think is the reasonably informed perspective of someone who’s done similar sideline interviews at sporting events for more than three decades. I wasn’t trying to start a national conversation, as Americans love to call it.

    I can’t believe I’m still even talking about it. But do you know why I am?

    Because myself and several other female sports journalists who dared to criticise Gayle at the time were rounded on by droves of people on social media accusing us of being the problem. We got told again we need to get a sense of humour, loosen up, have some fun. Don’t be a sports journalist if you can’t handle it. You’re just jealous he wasn’t hitting on you! She’s only there for her looks anyway, right?

    In the last 24 hours I feel like I’ve been shunted back to the 1980s, where Chris Gayle is not the problem.

    The problem is I’m surrounded by a multitude of idiots who think it’s funny to watch a woman have to deal with an unwanted sexual advance in the workplace. A mild one, sure, but no doubt that’s what it was.

    “Beautiful eyes, let’s go for a drink, don’t blush baby.”

    Pardon me for not finding that thigh-slappingly humorous.

    Bear in mind, by the way, that the vehicle for this alleged comedic gold is the format of the game that Cricket Australia is using to sell the sport to a family audience:

    “See little Johnny, that’s how you talk to girls, she’ll be impressed and, by golly, your mates will be entertained.”

    I honestly thought we’d come further than that.

    Accuse me of over-reaction, but it’s the reaction I’m finding it hard to get over.

    And for God’s sake spare me those zappy zingers like ‘people are dying in Syria’ or ‘what about that father who killed himself and his two sons?” or ‘a new bug that’s resistant to antibiotics has been found’ – why don’t you worry about something serious like that?

    I do.

    I’m actually capable of caring about more than one thing. Maybe the people who tweeted me along these lines have that capacity too, and should give it a try sometime.

    Of course there are infinitely worse problems in the world than lewd comments made by cricketer to a reporter. But they are, by and large, complex problems that you and I can’t solve.

    This one should be simple to sort out with tools you’ve got around the house, like decency and respect.

    If you’re sick of hearing women complaining about sexual advances in the workplace, don’t make them. Don’t laugh at them. Don’t blame the people who call them out.

    Oh, and put away that damn Barry White LP and come join me and a bunch of women who love sport and want to talk about it, write about it and commentate on it in 2016.

    Have Your Say



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    The Crowd Says (285)

    • January 6th 2016 @ 2:01am
      Maggie said | January 6th 2016 @ 2:01am | ! Report

      Thank you Debbie, you have summed up perfectly exactly how I have been feeling over the last 24 hours. It is depressing to find that, even in 2016, so many still do not understand and/or support women’s right to be treated equally and respectfully in the workplace.

      • Roar Guru

        January 6th 2016 @ 12:08pm
        Chris Kettlewell said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        I reckon a lot of the issue is the fact he completely blew off any actual questions asked with all this stuff. If he’d commented that getting out isn’t so bad if he gets to come and speak to such a beautiful lady afterwards, asked if she’d like to have a drink with him later, and then went on to actually answer her questions it probably wouldn’t be such an issue. But he’s completely ignoring every question she’s trying to ask, which is completely disrespectful to her in her role as the sideline reporter there to ask the questions

        • January 6th 2016 @ 12:49pm
          spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

          “If he’d commented that getting out isn’t so bad if he gets to come and speak to such a beautiful lady afterwards, asked if she’d like to have a drink with him later, and then went on to actually answer her questions it probably wouldn’t be such an issue.”

          Chris, sigh…that’s just not it at all. At no stage has Debbie suggested what you’ve suggested at all.

          At no stage should MM be asked out while she is trying to do her job on air in public. She is trying to report on the issue at hand (cricket) and not be subjected to live propositions. Time and place. Time and place. Bottom line is that Gayle wouldn’t have said any of it if MM was a man.

          It’s disappointing you haven’t grasped this. You are usually on top of this stuff.

          • Roar Guru

            January 6th 2016 @ 2:51pm
            Chris Kettlewell said | January 6th 2016 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

            I was commenting that effectively blowing her off and not respecting the job she was trying to do, not even remotely listening to a word she said or even considering answering any of her questions simply because she was a beautiful women that he’d prefer to proposition was the bigger issue. Still not an appropriate place to ask her out for drinks, but if he’d done that in a remotely respectful way, that actually involved respecting the job she was trying to do and actually giving her proper answers to the questions and such, then it still wouldn’t have been an appropriate place to do such a thing, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as much of an issue.

            Just like asking out a woman at work is fine, but interrupting her in the middle of a presentation in a way that suggests that what she’s doing isn’t important because she’s a beautiful woman and therefore her role is just to please you certainly isn’t.

            Also the fact that it wasn’t just a little slip by someone who’s never done anything like that before but another in an ongoing pattern of behaviour that he shows no signs of changing.

      • January 7th 2016 @ 12:45pm
        Matt said | January 7th 2016 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        I’m not not condoning Gale’s behaviour, but for there to be equality as you say, women should not be in the mens’ dressing room at all.

        If it had been a male reporter in the womens’ dressing room with half naked women in towels, the reporter would be accused of being a perv.

    • Roar Guru

      January 6th 2016 @ 2:20am
      Sam Brown said | January 6th 2016 @ 2:20am | ! Report

      Great article, you said everything that needed to be said, didn’t blow the situation out of proportion but still didn’t leave wiggle room for people who think this crap is alright.

      I work at a bank and if I tried that crap on to a customer or college in a professional setting I would rightfully loose my job pretty quickly.

      I also find it funny how often the same people who defend him and say ‘well it’s part of his culture’ will also have bumper stickers that proclaim things like ‘Australia, love it or leave it’ and lambast any immigrant that doesn’t immediately become one with Aussie culture.

      • January 6th 2016 @ 7:57am
        spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 7:57am | ! Report

        Spot on Sam.

      • January 6th 2016 @ 8:33am
        mike said | January 6th 2016 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        No, being aware of different cultural attitudes is the opposite.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 8:38am
          spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 8:38am | ! Report

          Way to miss the point Mike….

      • January 6th 2016 @ 11:58am
        Bring back Rupert said | January 6th 2016 @ 11:58am | ! Report

        I respect the challenge of women being treated with respect at all times in the workplace. God you hear some funny (stupid… so we’re clear) statements when it’s just the blokes….

        But come on mate… not overblown? I like OP and enjoy her skills as a journo but… it could have been left it at the tweet. Maybe another one to highlight women’s equal ops challenge. Seems like the unfortunate victim (not the dopey one and not all of us sportsfans) has already decided to do just that and move on with her career.

        I look forward to the day when we can realise more from women without putting up barriers to their involvement… but really he asked her on a date. He did not tell her she’d go well in an orgy.

        Bring back Rupert with this tripe…

    • January 6th 2016 @ 2:44am
      Chris said | January 6th 2016 @ 2:44am | ! Report

      I rarely comment on anything in these type of forums but as a male loving sport fan felt it important to stress my high regard for both Debbie and Mel.
      I not only believe Mel handled the situation very well and totally agree with Debbie’s comment about the concern relating to how many people think that this was ok!
      I would also add I do not always agree with Debbie but have enjoyed her commentary and insight over an extended period and believe that having female commentators at all sports adds huge value by often bringing a different perspective.
      Last point about the Chris Gayle that hasn’t had any coverage, did anyone find it odd that Gayle chose not to run during his innings and when asked whether he had an injury said no he was just cold! For what he is earning I think they might be expecting a jog between wickets! Perhaps The broader community might be getting a bit cold of Chris Gayle!

      • Roar Guru

        January 6th 2016 @ 11:29am
        DaniE said | January 6th 2016 @ 11:29am | ! Report

        Your last paragraph – good point! a strong case of What The.

      • January 6th 2016 @ 11:55am
        Gareth Kidd said | January 6th 2016 @ 11:55am | ! Report

        I only disagree with your last comment. I believe Gayle was being flippant with regards to his running between the wickets. He’s obviously still carrying a back injury. Other than that I’m on song with you.

        • Roar Guru

          January 6th 2016 @ 12:10pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          Which may have actually been related to the cold. If you’ve got a back injury you can really stiffen up when it’s cold and make running about a bit harder and more jarring.

    • Columnist

      January 6th 2016 @ 2:54am
      Geoff Parkes said | January 6th 2016 @ 2:54am | ! Report

      Barry White indeed. No, you’re not overreacting Debbie, you’re right on the money.

      As for the fools who claim that Gayle was harmlessly asking to go out on a “date”…
      What?? Is Gayle some innocent, nervous 16 year old kid ahead of a school dance? Check the pics of his bedroom out, Gayle doesn’t do “dates”, not in the conventional sense at least. We all know what he was on about and full credit to McLaughlin for maintaining her professionalism.

      Whatever the problems behind the scenes, if Gayle was truly a man of character he would have found a way to be taking on Australia in the test series, and doing something positive for West Indies cricket. It’s his choice to lead the playboy lifestyle instead, but as the saying goes, “live by the sword, die by the sword”.

      • January 6th 2016 @ 10:34am
        Aransan said | January 6th 2016 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        Well said.

      • January 6th 2016 @ 12:26pm
        Bring back Rupert said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        The sword of Saudi Arabia? I like the way you allude to his qualities as a man.

        Clearly he treated her poorly and his cricket team are ballocks at the moment… which raises the point… shall we go further into his lack of character? Read on for more lacking displays in treating the matter…

        Rupert condones your commenting

    • Columnist

      January 6th 2016 @ 6:15am
      Ronan O'Connell said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:15am | ! Report

      I wasn’t surprised when so many guys tried to defend Gayle’s thick behaviour initially, that was always a given.

      But I’m shocked at how many of them are continuing to do so despite the stories of him having repeatedly done this to other female journalists and even exposed himself to a female team staff member.

      Chris Rogers, who I assume most of these cricket-loving Gayle apologists would admire for his fine Test career, has outlined from personal experience what a bad bloke Gayle is and yet still people want to defend him. Pathetic.

      Fine article Debbie.

      • January 6th 2016 @ 6:38am
        Billy boy said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:38am | ! Report

        If Chris Rogers dose not like Gayle, well thats his business! Gayle made a knob of himself on national television and Mel came out of it with credits. That is about that. Plenty of journalists have crossed the line, invading privacy etc. I would probably bet Gayle has been a victim of them more than them of him. This is a bit of the ol mock outrage over not much going on.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 3:31pm
          Offsideman said | January 6th 2016 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

          Chris Rogers should be made Overlord of Cricket that’s how good of a bloke he is

      • January 6th 2016 @ 7:59am
        Big T said | January 6th 2016 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        If Gayle is such a known A-Grade kn0b in this respect, what were channel 10 thinking? Where they hoping for this outcome?

        • Roar Guru

          January 6th 2016 @ 12:12pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Quite possibly they were. Did you notice how all the other commentators were having a laugh, and TenSport initially posted a tweet #smooth in regards to this, only changing their tune probably in response to the instant negative feedback that twitter allows.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 12:42pm
          Haz said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          He would hardly be the first knob employed to commentate on the cricket. A certain blonde-haired spin-bowler comes to mind. Good cricket player. Wouldn’t want him anywhere near your daughter though.

      • January 6th 2016 @ 10:03am
        Roy said | January 6th 2016 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        I am not shocked Ronan, one of the harder things in life is admitting you are wrong ! . . . especially for tough guys

      • January 6th 2016 @ 4:42pm
        anon said | January 6th 2016 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

        “Chris Rogers, who I assume most of these cricket-loving Gayle apologists would admire for his fine Test career, has outlined from personal experience what a bad bloke Gayle is and yet still people want to defend him. Pathetic.”

        Some blokes hated Michael Clarke, others loved him.

        Gayle and Rogers are chalk and cheese.

        Gayle routinely flirts with women because it works!

        If Rogers tried to flirt with random women they would call the cops.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 10:13pm
          Rabbits said | January 6th 2016 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

          That’s Gold. Rogers arrested and Gayle given a slap on the wrist. Hahahaha

    • January 6th 2016 @ 6:17am
      mike said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:17am | ! Report

      Debbie, make sure you never travel to the Caribbean, middle East, Italy, in fact most of Mediterranean Europe, Colombia, where this flirtatious ego tripping is common and considered harmless. I get it has no place on Australian sensibilities, but Gayle just did what he and all his countrymen do every day. Should he have known better after years of international media grooming? Probably. Did he break a law? Not by a long way. Is he a bad person. You’re a tough judge if you think so.

      • Columnist

        January 6th 2016 @ 6:27am
        Ronan O'Connell said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:27am | ! Report

        “Is he a bad person. You’re a tough judge if you think so.”

        Well Chris Rogers thinks he’s a bad bloke, and he spent plenty of time around Gayle while they played together for the Sydney Thunder.

        Rogers told the ABC that after the behaviour he saw from Gayle during that stint he would never have wanted to play with him again:

        “From what I saw … if I’d have been in the Thunder the next year it would have been my advice that he wouldn’t have been anywhere near the set-up,” Rogers said.

        “The reason I think he hasn’t played in the BBL for quite a while is because that was what was said – to stay away from Chris Gayle because he brings more trouble than he’s worth.”

        • January 6th 2016 @ 6:52am
          mike said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:52am | ! Report

          Apologies, I didn’t know this. As a stand alone incident I stand by my remark. In context with past evidence he may be a creep. If this had of been another cricketer without a past history of bad behavior would the public hanging still be in line?

          • January 6th 2016 @ 7:53am
            spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 7:53am | ! Report

            Mike,

            Stop trying to defend Gayle by bringing up cultural differences. You did this yesterday. First and foremost when you are a guest of another country you observe local customs. It takes 5-10 minutes to learn what flies in what country and what doesn’t in another. Defending him because it’s ok where he is from in enabling behaviour. We acknowledge the differences yes, but can’t seek to offer it as an excuse.

            I suggest you go to Saudi Arabia and door knock and preach the Bible and see how far you get? But you wouldn’t would you…cause you know that wouldn’t fly there. So you respect the local customs and laws.

            It doesn’t matter where Gayle is from, or what Gayle is used to….it doesn’t fly here and he should have known that. He’s been here enough times now. These are the realities of living and working overseas.

            • January 6th 2016 @ 8:18am
              mike said | January 6th 2016 @ 8:18am | ! Report

              No because it isn’t against Saudi law. Gayle did not break a law.

              • January 6th 2016 @ 8:24am
                spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 8:24am | ! Report

                Any non-Muslim proselytising in Saudi Arabia is absolutely illegal. How spectacularly naive are you?

                You’ve proved my point. 5 minutes of basic research is all that’s necessary for anyone when they are a guest.

                Breaking laws, or breaking customs is largely semantics. The point is that Gayle can’t point to Jamaican customs as his excuse here and you should stop defending him on that account. More importantly, Gayle hasn’t been dumb enough to do so either. Perhaps you should take the hint there.

              • January 6th 2016 @ 11:24am
                mike said | January 6th 2016 @ 11:24am | ! Report

                Sorry, meant is against the law, fat fingers and predictive text. I lived in the middle east for 3 years.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 6th 2016 @ 11:12am
                Lamby said | January 6th 2016 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                You are wrong, Gayle DID BREAK THE LAW! Sexual harassment is against the law!

                The Sex Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for a person to sexually harass another person in a number of areas including employment, education, the provision of goods and services and accommodation.

                This was sexual harassment in the workplace. It is against the law.

              • January 6th 2016 @ 12:06pm
                Bring back Rupert said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Sorry me again. You’re right there are laws for sexual harassment…. and lawyers to help discuss that law… and judges…. because behaviour has a degree of negativity.

                Certainly against social norms to embarrass a person on front of all their friends instead of treating them with respect…. not sure how far you’d get with sexual harassment on this case though…. maybe more a ‘we don’t like you hear anymore’.

                Personally I’d rather see the victim and all women treated with respect and professionalism… but there are many fish to fry in that area yet.

              • January 6th 2016 @ 5:44pm
                Burgs said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

                I agree with the author but how can you say that was “sexual harassment”? It’s that type of overboard statement that annoys many people.

              • January 7th 2016 @ 8:56am
                Danno said | January 7th 2016 @ 8:56am | ! Report

                Victorian) Equal Opportunity Act:

                10 Motive is irrelevant to discrimination
                s. 10
                In determining whether or not a person discriminates, the person’s motive is irrelevant.

                and s 92 What is sexual harassment?
                s. 92
                (1) For the purpose of this Act, a person sexually harasses another person if he or she—
                (a) makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to the other person; or
                (b) engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the other person—
                in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

              • Roar Guru

                January 7th 2016 @ 11:01am
                Train Without A Station said | January 7th 2016 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                So it would not be sexual harassment, as there was no sexual nature of the advance (asked for a drink) and there was no conduct of a sexual nature (complimented her eyes)?

                However if he invited her back to his hotel room and perhaps made a more lewd comment about perhaps her body, it certainly could be construed as such?

              • January 6th 2016 @ 11:35am
                spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 11:35am | ! Report

                @ mike

                Fair enough. Phew!

            • January 6th 2016 @ 4:33pm
              anon said | January 6th 2016 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

              Australia is a multi-cultural society that welcomes and celebrates a variety of cultures. Saudi Arabia is a singular culture.

              • January 6th 2016 @ 5:43pm
                spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                We accept basically evening yes, but that is still bound by pre existing rules and customs.

                Like any country, one cannot just expect to come to another country and behave as you would in your own country. This isn’t an Australian thing, every country has that expectation.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 7:50am
          Steve said | January 6th 2016 @ 7:50am | ! Report

          Sorry but what makes Chris Rogers the moral authority?

          • Roar Guru

            January 6th 2016 @ 10:09am
            The Bush said | January 6th 2016 @ 10:09am | ! Report

            Brendan McCullum.

            • Roar Pro

              January 8th 2016 @ 11:55am
              Wasim Ranamadroota said | January 8th 2016 @ 11:55am | ! Report

              EXACTLY. Why hasn’t St Brendan told us what is right and what is wrong yet? He knows.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 12:07pm
            Bring back Rupert said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

            Funding, sales and marketing… and team discipline

          • January 6th 2016 @ 3:32pm
            Offsideman said | January 6th 2016 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

            He is not the moral authority. Rogers is all authority in Australian Cricket.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 12:51pm
          Zero Gain said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

          I heard Chris Roger’s comments. I thought that they went far too far without providing any evidence at all, or specific instances of unacceptable behaviour. Defamatory actually. What did Gayle do that was so bad and why didn’t the media get on to it it was so well known as Rogers claimed? Yes, he is a ‘ladies man’ who is use to success in his exploits there but so what? Is that now a crime? A friendly approach to a woman is now not allowed? I wonder how many actually welcomed the approach? No, not on TV in an interview, in a professional situation, that is not OK but on any scale, not very serious, but annoying for the journalist no doubt. Let’s be honest, women have to deal with many unwanted approaches and most learn how to do it very well. It’s not fair and the guys that do it badly are very annoying but they will always be with us I think, unfortunately.
          Others who have associated with the Gayle don’t agree with Rogers with his behaviour being described this year as ‘exemplary’ by his current franchise. Rogers is a bit of a goose in my opinion and maybe so is Gayle as far as his ‘cracking on’ is concerned. But I would rather go out with Gayle any day of the week. And so would most of the women he approaches, I reckon.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 2:01pm
            Eski said | January 6th 2016 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

            Zero gain
            Don’t be shocked when gayle doesn’t sue for defamation
            Of course his current franchise are going to praise him What else are they going to say
            And if u think the media report all information they receive on player behaviour not just cricket but all sports u r very mistaken

          • Roar Guru

            January 6th 2016 @ 2:18pm
            peeeko said | January 6th 2016 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

            Gayle is a goose and most people would tell you that.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 3:38pm
            Offsideman said | January 6th 2016 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

            Pretty much I get from this comment that you just really like Gayle and maybes he’s your hero or something. But the fact is that he’s the goose and if your doubting Rogers who’s probably the best bloke in Aus let alone the cricket arena well you need to take down the posters of Gayle in your room and have a good hard look at yourself in the mirror.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 5:22pm
          Johnno said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

          Ronan
          On a side not about Chris Rogers, not everyone likes him either. Matt Hayden/Justin Langer, made it clear they didn’t like Chris Rogers. Admittedlty, they made this clear at the time when Chris Rogers was breathing down there neck and threading there opening spots in the aussie side.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 6:14pm
            Eski said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

            Hayden is extremely disliked in cricked circles and it worries my larger likes him so much

          • January 6th 2016 @ 6:20pm
            Johnno said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

            “threatining” not threading, typing error.

      • Columnist

        January 6th 2016 @ 7:32am
        Debbie Spillane said | January 6th 2016 @ 7:32am | ! Report

        Did I saw he’s a bad person?

        Read what I said. I said his comments were not cool or clever.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 12:29pm
          Bring back Rupert said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          But you could have left it at that and also written a thought out message about the way we really have to go to keep improving things for women… but you didn’t. You skimmed the surface and generated some readership numbers. For that I applaud you.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 1:12pm
          Zero Gain said | January 6th 2016 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

          I think your article is very good Debbie. Having listened to you for at least 20 years it is pretty typical of your approach. Fair and honest.
          The women in my life have told me many times what a drag it is to deal with unwanted approaches. As a man I can only imagine just how annoying it is and I agree that Gayle acted like a goose in this case.
          But as you say, let us keep it in perspective. I see that many are now repeating Chris Rogers unsubstantiated or particularised claims. That is unfortunate. I think we are about to see a huge character assassination here.
          Maybe Gayle is a bit of a goose, but probably a pretty harmless one.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 5:57pm
            ethan said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

            Women complain about unwanted approaches, but it sure beats rejection doesn’t it? It’s just the way it is. As you say, Gayle acted like a goose, but lets not over react.

        • January 7th 2016 @ 4:48pm
          Peter said | January 7th 2016 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

          Everyone has an opinion, but the real question remains. Did Chris Gayle ever play Rugby League?

      • Columnist

        January 6th 2016 @ 7:54am
        Debbie Spillane said | January 6th 2016 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        I’ve been to some of those places and while working did not get treated like I was at a nightclub.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 9:46am
          Punter said | January 6th 2016 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          This is the most important comment of all. Imagine asking a female colleague out for a drink in a meeting in front of everyone, this is a total lack of respect.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 10:53am
            spruce moose said | January 6th 2016 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            Oh Punter,

            I tried telling this to people yesterday and got absolutely nowhere.

            Shamefully, there are people who think that is a totally ok thing to do.

          • Roar Guru

            January 6th 2016 @ 12:17pm
            Chris Kettlewell said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            Or worse, when she’s trying to present something in that meeting, basically going, “Don’t worry about all that baby, just come out for drinks with me”. Not just asking her out but completely disrespecting her as a professional.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 12:31pm
            Bring back Rupert said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

            It really puts a person already in the spotlight…. in the spotlight. Disgraceful… I’d frown upon my mates doing it… my wife would probably elbow me in the ribs and call me a pig. But gosh it makes good tv

          • January 6th 2016 @ 12:45pm
            Brad said | January 6th 2016 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

            On the same broadcast (or perhaps the following evening), they showed footage of Mark Waugh attempting a reverse sweep 20 or so years ago, and made the comment that perhaps his pants were too tight, that’s why he missed the ball. Can you imagine doing that in an office meeting? “Here’s footage of Jim from 20 years ago where he failed to close the McKinley deal, and look at his pants! No wonder he couldn’t get it done!”. Completely inappropriate. And yet completely fine for a cricket broadcast.

            I’m not defending Chris Gayle, but to compare sports to a “normal” work environment doesn’t work, because they are completely different. Chris Gayle is wrong, but that’s because his behaviour was inappropriate for the sporting arena, not because it was inappropriate for a normal work environment.

            • January 6th 2016 @ 3:19pm
              Jameswm said | January 6th 2016 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

              I was going to say something similar. It might be a work environment for both, but you can’t exactly compare it with an office environment.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 5:02pm
            ethan said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

            Punter,

            Except that it wasn’t at a meeting. It was at an entertainment venue, where there is fun and music and high spirits. You make a valid point, and I’m not saying what Gayle did was right, but I can also see it from his perspective, and consider it but a minor mishap.

            Mel dealt with it very well, no harm done. No harm meant. It was awkward but for a small moment. Let’s move on.

          • January 6th 2016 @ 5:04pm
            anon said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

            Gayle and Mel M don’t work in an office, so please stop using that analogy. Mel M is a sideline interviewer/entertainer for hit and giggle cricket. Gayle is a multi-millionaire cricketer/entertainer. They essentially work in the entertainment industry. The line between entertainment and sport are very blurred in the BBL. For the commentary team, it’s just as important for them to be funny and entertaining as informative. In fact it’s expected that they are entertaining, can take a joke, make a joke, etc. Hence comments about Gayle being promiscuous, making fun of some kid eating a watermelon, there was a joke about some guy in the crowd’s butt crack being exposed when he tried to catch the ball.

            Mel M could have brushed aside Gayle’s comments by just simply saying “no chance” and maintaining her composure as you would expect an entertainer and 36 year old woman to do, but she pulled a face and looked angry/humiliated. It showed me she can’t really cut it in the entertainment industry.

            We should be laughing at how Gayle got shot down on live TV with his cheesy pick up line, not burning this guy at the stake.

            Young women who are attractive and work in bars get hit on by guys routinely. It’s par for the course. You can’t apply a set of standards you use in the corporate environment to that of a bar/nightclub or the entertainment industry.

            • January 6th 2016 @ 5:20pm
              Johnno said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

              anon

              All workplaces are workplaces there just different.
              A club med hotel resort is a workplace, as is a porn movie studio. In a porno studio, the actors can’t grope the women in the tea room when there having lunch, even though half an hour ago they were talking dirty to them and naughty talk.

            • January 6th 2016 @ 6:01pm
              ethan said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

              Well said Anon, agree completely.

              “We should be laughing at how Gayle got shot down on live TV with his cheesy pick up line, not burning this guy at the stake.”

      • January 6th 2016 @ 4:29pm
        anon said | January 6th 2016 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

        Chris Gayle wouldn’t flirt with women if they didn’t respond positively to it. He’s from a different culture.

        Maybe we shouldn’t be discriminating Gayle for his Caribbean cultural practices. Gayle descends from culture where women respond positively to and expect men to be forward and flirtatious. Australians need to become more culturally sensitive, and develop a greater cultural understanding and awareness of what is a fundamental part of Caribbean culture.

        For instance, some Middle Eastern or Indian immigrants practice a culture that without cultural context Anglo Australians might view as misogynistic, yet we have learned to understand, tolerate and celebrate these cultures.

        • January 6th 2016 @ 4:57pm
          Eski said | January 6th 2016 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

          Anon
          Gayle easily could’ve have been forward and flirtatious off camera
          This is not about that it’s about time, place and showing respect when someone is clearly uncomfortable it’s part of being an adult and interacting in society

          • January 6th 2016 @ 5:09pm
            anon said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

            “Gayle easily could’ve have been forward and flirtatious off camera
            This is not about that it’s about time, place and showing respect when someone is clearly uncomfortable it’s part of being an adult and interacting in society”

            Gayle didn’t realise he would make Mel M so uncomfortable if he complimented her eyes. If he knew he wouldn’t have done it.

            They work in the entertainment industry. Gayle was being an entertainer, playing to his persona. He didn’t say “damn you have a banging body Mel”, he said she has beautiful eyes. It was completely harmless, yet Mel M got so embarrassed and flustered and that’s what people are reacting to. Gayle was probably as shocked as anyone that a beautiful 36 year old woman in the entertainment industry couldn’t maintain her composure when he engaged in some very mild flirting.

            • January 6th 2016 @ 5:22pm
              Eski said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

              anon
              It was extremely obvious for all to see how uncomfortable she was after he mentioned they should catch up for a drink Chris gayle could’ve stopped there but he chose the laugh and say don’t blush baby making the situation even more embarrassing and uncomfortable
              If gayle was so shocked she wasn’t handling his comments why wouldn’t he have stopped with the flirting and answered cricket auestions that he was being asked
              U say the line between entertainment and sport are blurred in the bbl but yet gayle is the only one who has over stepped the mark to me says a lot about the bloke

              • January 6th 2016 @ 5:47pm
                anon said | January 6th 2016 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

                “It was extremely obvious for all to see how uncomfortable she was after he mentioned they should catch up for a drink Chris gayle could’ve stopped there but he chose the laugh and say don’t blush baby making the situation even more embarrassing and uncomfortable”

                Just a bit of banter. Maybe the entertainment industry isn’t for Mel M if she can’t deal with a cheesy compliment. She can’t expect every person she interviews to be as staid and serious as Mike Hussey or those Chris Rogers types.

                “If gayle was so shocked she wasn’t handling his comments why wouldn’t he have stopped with the flirting and answered cricket auestions that he was being asked
                U say the line between entertainment and sport are blurred in the bbl but yet gayle is the only one who has over stepped the mark to me says a lot about the bloke”

                Caribbean culture is different to Anglo and Indian/Pakistani cultures. Cricket is generally played by conservative men who spent their teens getting up early on Saturdays and Sundays to stand in the sun chasing a ball. Gayle is a wealthy guy with a big ego that women generally respond positively to. It was just a harmless comment about her eyes and an almost self-deprecating “don’t blush baby”

              • January 6th 2016 @ 6:07pm
                Eski said | January 6th 2016 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

                Anon
                mel kept asking questions even though she was extremely uncomfortable , she easily could’ve gone blank and not said anything and let the commentary box take over
                U keep saying the Caribbean is a different culture this may shock u but even in the Caribbean people became uncomfortable and embarrassed just like the rest of the world indicating they would like the behaviour of that person to change or stop , that is exactly what happened in that interview and gayle chose to keep going

      • January 8th 2016 @ 2:58pm
        Franca said | January 8th 2016 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

        Where did you get the idea this kind of stuff doesn’t happen here? That’s why we have sexual harassment laws at work!!!!

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