West Indies batsman Chris Gayle was fined $10,000 by the Melbourne Renegades for his attempt to flirt with Channel 10’s McLaughlin which he described as a “simple joke” that had been blown out of proportion.
He later publically apologised for any offence caused,
“I’ve not spoken to [Gayle] personally but I flew home from Hobart today and he was at Melbourne airport,” McLaughlin told Channel 10’s The Project on Tuesday night.
“I know he issued an apology and I accept that.
“I just want to move on.”
McLaughlin said it was a good thing the incident had sparked over sexism in sporting media.
“We want equality, we always want equality,” she told Channel 10 news.
“I’ve always felt in my career I’ve felt nothing but respect.
“Of course, you don’t expect to get that answer [from Gayle].
“It is a little bit disappointing because it just doesn’t happen normally.”
Hours after receiving his penalty, Gayle posted on Instagram joking that fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo would have to pay for dinner.
“Pockets are empty so @djbravo47 paying the dinner bill tonight … Let’s roll DJ. #champion,” the post featuring the two players read.
Speaking to Grandstand during a washed out day three of the third Australia v West Indies Test, Fox Sports reporter Neroli Meadows- a former colleague of McLaughlin’s said what happened to McLaughlin was not an isolated incident in sports media.
“It happens, situations likes that, 10 times a day when you’re a female in this sports industry and that’s just a fact,” she said.
“Whether it’s the fact that the women’s toilets aren’t open and the men’s toilets are, whether it’s somebody saying something slightly inappropriate to you as you walk down the hallway, 10 times a day, without fail.
“We do not need that to happen to us in our workplace because that is what it is, our workplace and Mel has been doing her job for 10 to 15 years and she has done it with respect. Her career now gets defined by this.
“The same thing has happened to me, the same thing has happened to Yvonne Sampson at Channel Nine, the same thing to Erin Molan at Channel Nine. We have successful careers and they get defined by idiots saying the wrong thing, inappropriate and then other people laughing as though it’s the one thing that has ever happened. Of course, it’s not.
“As they say, it is the tip of the iceberg.”
ESPN Cricinfo reporter Melinda Farrell said it would be unfortunate if McLaughlin’s career might now be defined by the Gayle interview.
“It is horrible to see her put in that position,” she said.
“I just feel really sorry for her because she’s kind of in a really difficult position now where if she says something she is going to be lambasted, and if she doesn’t say something she is going to be lambasted and she has got to rely on the people around her to stand up for her and say ‘that’s not okay’.”
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