Chris Gayle has responded to the ongoing sexism row over his interview with an Australian female news reporter - insisting good-looking women should expect men to make jokes in their vicinity.
The 36-year-old former West Indies captain stirred controversy by asking journalist Mel McLaughlin out for a drink during a live TV interview in January and then saying “don’t blush, baby”. Melbourne Renegades fined the batsman A$10,000 for inappropriate conduct.
Following heavy criticism, Gayle apologised to McLaughlin and dismissed the controversy as a “simple joke” blown out of proportion. McLaughlin labelled the exchange “disappointing”.
But Gayle has again insisted the sexism row was overblown.
“You’re a woman in an environment with men,” Gayle said. “You’re good-looking. What do you expect? People are going to make jokes."
Gayle said McLaughlin had been forced to say she was offended by the incident.
“If she was upset she would’ve said it,” Gayle said. “At no stage did she say she felt offended by me. Then they wanted an apology and she came on air and said: ‘He’s apologised – so let it go everybody.’ You could tell she had been forced to say those things.”
He claimed McLaughlin had gained more negative media coverage over the furore than him.
“She got more bad press than me,” he said. “The public gave her the bad press. She was the one who looked bad – not me.”
In the direct aftermath of the incident, the head of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, said the comments were “out of line and inappropriate” and said they “bordered on harassment and are completely inappropriate in cricket and the workplace".
At the beginning of June, Gayle claimed he had been made a scapegoat and treated with “double standards” by the Big Bash League.
McLaughlin and Big Bash League did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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