- Finally, Chris Gayle put in his place
- 'Don't blush, baby': Chris Gayle makes pass at journalist on live TV
- Gayle response 'delusional': James Sutherland
- No one-off, says Chris Rogers
UPDATE: The Melbourne Renegades have fined Chris Gayle $10,000 for his controversial interview with Channel Ten's Mel McLaughlin.
Gayle fined over comments
Melbourne Renegades CEO, Stuart Coventry, extends the clubs full apology to Mel McLaughlin and fines Chris Gayle $10,000 over comments. (Vision courtesy ABC News 24)
The money will be donated to the Jane McGrath Foundation.
Despite several prominent female journalists on Tuesday saying Gayle had acted inappropriately towards them, Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry described the West Indies cricketer's comments to a TV reporter a "one-off."
Coventry blamed Gayle's comments on cultural differences and said some people may "utilise" the situation to air complaints against him.
The Renegades boss said Gayle was a great addition to the Renegades and had been helpful to young players and members of the women's team.
Earlier today, Gayle said his 'pass' at journalist Mel McLaughlin was a joke and that "there wasn't any harm done" when he arrived at Melbourne Airport on Tuesday morning and initially tried to avoid a media frenzy.
While he apologised for any offence he caused the Channel Ten reporter during their controversial mid-game interview on Monday night, he said his comments had been "blown out of proportion".
"To be honest with you... a lot of things have actually flared up from a simple comment, a simple joke on air, and it seemed to [get] out of proportion," he said.
"There wasn't anything at all meant to be disrespectful to Mel, or offensive.
"If she felt that way, then I am really sorry for that. There wasn't any harm meant. It was a simple joke.
"In entertainment, things get out of proportion. But these things happen and there wasn't any harm done.
Chris Gayle apologises for 'simple joke'
Cricketer Chris Gayle says sorry for his comments made to journalist Mel McLaughlin, but says it was a 'simple joke' blown out of proportion. (Vision courtesy ABC News 24)
"I will leave it at that."
Media at the airport were told that Gayle would make a statement, however that plan changed when Gayle emerged from the terminal..
Instead of addressing the media straight away, he walked slowly up to the bag claim area, taking "selfies" with fans and signing autographs along the way.
As he collected his bag and went to leave the terminal, a reporter asked him for a comment and, at that point, he was directed back towards the media set up and answered several questions.
When told that Channel Ten had originally displayed his comments on Twitter, before taking them down, Gayle replied: "They posted on Twitter as well? Maybe because everybody thought it was a joke," he said.
"I didn't know it would actually reach this far."
Gayle was then asked by a reporter why McLaughlin was made to feel uncomfortable in her workplace, the Renegades star replied: "Did she tell you she was uncomfortable?"
When the reporter said that McLaughlin had told her employer, but not the journalist directly, Gayle said "have a good day" and walked away from the cameras.
Gayle was criticised for "walking out" on the media conference but, to be fair, it was made clear to reporters beforehand that he was only going to make a brief statement and Gayle had tried to finish the interview earlier. Reporters continued with questions thereafter.
Gayle, 36, had just been dismissed for a quickfire 41 off 15 balls in the Melbourne Renegades' comfortable Big Bash League in over the Hobart Hurricanes, but the live interview quickly steered away from cricket, with the opening batsman asking McLaughlin if she wanted to come out for a drink with him, before quickly adding "don't blush, baby".
"I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well, that's the reason why I'm here," he began. "Just to see your eyes for the first time. It's nice."
As McLaughlin began appearing visibly uncomfortable, Gayle continued: "So hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink after. Don't blush, baby."
Coventry was quick to issue an unreserved apology from the team's management when he took questions immediately after Gayle's airport appearance.
"On behalf of the franchise, we want to apologise to Mel and we hope she didn't feel uncomfortable in a professional environment ," he said. "She is a wonderful sports reporter and she doesn't deserve that.
"We have had a number of chats with Chris and Cricket Australia this morning trying to clear up the matter."
Gayle said he tried to apologise to McLaughlin personally on Monday night but had been unable to do so.
Coventry said he would try to get Gayle in contact with McLaughlin over the next 24 hours to make sure the apology occurred.
The former West Indies captain was preparing for possible sanctions from Cricket Australia, although it's unclear what form this would take. He is not expected to face suspension but could be ordered to complete community work.
Gayle has been writing paid columns for Fairfax Media during the BBL. He is due to play again for the Renegades in the return Melbourne derby fixture against the Stars at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, although he appeared to aggravate a back injury during his innings at the Blundstone Arena.
Network Ten sport boss David Barham got on the front foot early on Tuesday morning, saying that Gayle's comments were "highly inappropriate" and that he should apologise.
He said he had called McLaughlin after the incident.
"Mel was good. She was a bit angry and upset I suppose. She was a bit taken aback, embarrassed. I thought it was a bit demeaning. She was pretty composed.
"To my knowledge, Mel hasn't experienced treatment like this," he told Fairfax Media.
Barham said that while he believed Gayle's comments were an isolated incident, Ten would no longer use him as an on-field commentator. "There's plenty of great Australians in the Big Bash doing really well; I'd rather have one of those," he told 3AW.
He also defended McLaughlin's colleagues after muted laughter could be heard from the studio during the interview. "I immediately called Mark Howard (Channel Ten commentator) and we had a long talk about it. He was very upset about it as well."
With Staff Reporters