Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Chris Gayle was wrong, but …

Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2016 | 1:00 AM
Gayle

YES! Chris Gayle was wrong to proposition Australian journalist Mel McLaughlin during the live-television interview.

After all, the big Jamaican paid his US$7,000 fine and he apologised to Ms McIntosh, who duly accepted his apology, but somehow this issue just won't go away.

Some of us dare to opine that this issue has been massively blown out of proportion and that the "sin'' of pursuing a woman, even though executed inappropriately and unprofessionally, in no way merits the level of vitriolic and fervent attacks and criticisms that have come the way of the swashbuckling left-handed batsman.

That position is in some quarters being misconstrued to mean unequivocal support for Gayle.

There appears to be an intolerant unwillingness to entertain any semblance of independence of thought on this issue, which has now ballooned beyond the point of the denouncement and condemnation of Gayle's actions.

There now appears to be much more than meets the eye swirling around Gayle's awkward, almost embarrassing attempt at flirting with the Aussie journalist, with the introduction of agenda-laced terms such as sexual harassment, sexism, and misogyny, which forces one to wonder if the legitimate cries against Gayle's actions have not now totally lost credibility.

DOUBLE STANDARD

There is the glaring double standard and hypocrisy as it relates to tennis superstar Maria Sharapova's equally unprofessional and inappropriate flirtation with a male journalist in the very same country, Australia. The disparity in how those moments were treated compared to how Gayle's indiscretions have been treated locally and internationally stinks to the high heavens.

Again, some of us dare to ask the question, why?

When one prominent Australian commentator, Ian Chappell, the man who, incidentally, committed the far worse offence of dropping his pants in the middle of a domestic game in Australia while he was Australia's captain, when such a compromised character comes out and advocates a worldwide ban for Chris Gayle, where else can the rational mind go but to a place that says a black man from the Caribbean is prohibited from setting his personal sights on such a symbol of white Australian beauty.

Another instructive dynamic is the level of condemnation coming the way of Gayle from his fellow Jamaicans.

While understanding the emotional rebuff to a prominent and successful Jamaican man choosing to pursue a foreign white woman, substantively ignoring his black Jamaican girls, outside of the understandable emotional backlash from that dynamic, there seems to be a wider, and more strident, conviction to get Chris Gayle from his very own people.

Another stark reminder of our propensity as a people to tear down our own, I think Jamaicans are more expert at doing that than any other nationality in the world. We really do epitomise the 'crab in barrell' syndrome. If Chris Gayle was of any other nationality, he would absolutely get more support from his own people.

As was the case when he strolled into the middle in the very next Big Bash game after the controversy erupted - where he was welcomed to rapturous applause by the Australian crowd - he was even hugged by an Australian woman. But with all of that healing and reconciliation taking place Down Under, here in Jamaica, the desperate hunt is on for even more of Chris Gayle's blood. Go

figure!