Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Wrong forum Chris Gayle

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

What is the problem with Christopher Henry Gayle that is causing this continuous display of his manhood and sexuality in the public space?

The T20 cricket batting superhero had another on-air amorous approach aimed at a female journalist conducting a post-performance interview during a game in the Australian Big Bash League (BBL).

It was only last year, on Antigua home soil, that Big Chris committed what Foster's Fairplay assessed then and still now, as a trend towards vulgarity.

On that occasion, in a pre-game interview, the former West Indies captain was reported to have been asked by a female interviewer: "How does the pitch feel so far in terms of the training (and) the weather"?

The response was: "Well, I haven't touched yours yet, so I don't know how it feels."

The question in this columnist's view did not indicate cricket savvy, but Gayle put the query on a sexist plane.

Following the story from Down Under, what is interesting is a comment by a Jamaican sports journalist considered, in this corner, to be 'from the top drawer'.

FOOT-IN-MOUTH DISEASE

Noted for his incisive analysis, after listening to excerpts from the recent interview with Gayle and the woman, he made the point: "I thought Gayle had learnt his lesson."

No such luck, Leighton. There is no stopping the loose talk coming from the swashbuckling opening batsman, as he seems to be stuck in the groove of 'putting his foot in his mouth' on these occasions.

This time, his 41 off 15 balls was being recounted when what he chose to highlight was his attraction to the lady's eyes and proceeded to issue an invitation on set for the woman to "have a drink" later.

The "Do not blush, Baby" followed.

Subsequently, the BBL boss, obviously and justifiably incensed, has issued sanctions against our boy, Chris. First up, he will no longer be featured in the coverage of the games. His wearing of on-field microphones to facilitate comments during the fast-paced spectacle is now denied. Added to this, the now-beleaguered entertainer has been docked US$7,200 (AUS$10,000.)

In response to the many negative remarks from all over, there have been shouts of "Overkill!", "Killing an ant with a hammer!" and the like. The view expressed there is that Gayle's flirtatious foray did not deserve such adverse comment.

In general, it is also the talk that the matter has been "blown out of proportion". Some have responded to the most popular comment, which is that the approach was "inappropriate".

Another famed radio talk show host and academic has said that the measure of that description is dependent on how acceptable it was to the lady in question, Mel McLaughlin.

Also, it has been mentioned that she was made to feel "uncomfortable", while carrying out the requirements of her job.

culture-dependent view

On the matter of discomfort, the only opinion in the public space has not, to this columnist's knowledge, come from the lady herself, but rather from what she was alleged to have said to her superior. Foster's Fairplay is in total disagreement with the highly respected talk show host on the matter of the lady's acceptability or not. That is immaterial in this corner. Depending on culture, socialisation, or plain lack of decency on the part of the target, the foulest language in requesting sexual attention can find favour in certain quarters but can be rejected, as it should be, in others.

This columnist, in his youthful days, trying to adhere to lessons taught, lost many a battle, failing to land the booty, while the vulgar approach won the hand, and whatever else was on offer from the female. Unacceptability is a legitimate call, regardless of its source.

As for the suggestion that the story has received an overabundance of mileage, this is how journalists eat, drink, and enjoy life's blessings. Put a little one-Test medium pacer in the superstar's position, the hue and cry would be considerably less - if heard at all.

The so-called extra publicity comes from the elevated territory, and Gayle and his supporters must be aware of this as they line up in his support.

Foster's Fairplay sums up the varied arguments and counter arguments: It was the wrong forum for the comment.

Take the thought elsewhere, Chris.