Awkward! Mel McLaughlin and Chris Gayle

The uproar over sleazy sportsman Chris Gayle's harassment of TV reporter Mel McLaughlin highlights the double-standards of the Turnbull Government, says contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence.

CLAMP CHRIS GAYLE'S BALLS, Jamie Briggs hasn't got any.

Too harsh? Don't think so. Don't blush baby.

The Windies aggressive left-handed slogger and deadly offspinner, Chris 'Gayleforce' Gayle is cricket's equivalent of a crack military sniper.

He's slain dozens of records and supplanted his own.

He wields a mighty willow on the pitch. He clearly wants us to think he wields a mightier willie off the pitch. Both of the master blaster's bats might as well be made of steel by all accounts. Don't blush, baby.

He's a giant of a man, even when horizontal. Six foot two inches. Y'know what I'm sayin.

He's a big boy. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. You know what we girls say about West Indian cricketers. Big bat, big dick.

He self- consciously wears his box as if it were a smoking codpiece on the outside of his whites and, by the way he publicly treats women, he thinks we do too.

For years, Gayle has been busily whittling away, lovingly carving a specific image of himself and using social media almost as well as he uses his professional instrument. A heavy hitter with an even heavier hit-on.

In all of this, he is sometimes enabled by obliging promotional collaborations with the likes of betting agency Ladbrokes and their pathetic promo video of Gayle allegedly in the Renegades Big Bash League changing room ahead of the match at Blundstone Oval with the Hobart Hurricanes the day before his now viral notorious on-air pass at McLaughlin.

Chris Gayle @henrygayle Jan 3

Chris Gayle added:

I ain't never seen a changing room like this. Chris is da only ho in there. It got da kingsize b, da babes, dey strokin da world boss all over his body and den Chris comes on doin a rap and clutchin his dick, like he's itchin for it.

Nice one Ladbrokes. Lovin the way you treat us. Lovin the way you insult us – and other cricketers – and their partners. It's all about the money innit. You bet.

What the hell is Cricket Australia doing about this puerile advertisement?  And where are the players' agents and representatives? Are you all happy that your dressing rooms are being portrayed by Ladbrokes as call girl parlours ?

Maybe Gayle thinks they are. Call girls should protest.

Last night, Fairfax Media's Chloe Saltau and Chris Barrett wrote about Chris Gayle allegedly indecently exposing himself to a woman working at the World Cup.

Cricketer Chris Gayle, already facing a barrage of criticism over inappropriate remarks to a female television reporter, allegedly indecently exposed himself to a woman during a Sydney training session at last year's World Cup.

The Australian woman, who was working around the West Indies team in Sydney, has detailed the incident to Fairfax Media. In the course of her work she entered the team dressing room to get a sandwich as she hadn't eaten all day, thinking the players were on the field training.

Instead, she found Gayle in the room with one other player. Gayle was wrapped in a towel, which she says he pulled down to partially expose his genitals to her while saying to her: "Are you looking for this?"

Gayle sends out endless Instagram/social media photos of himself with endless babes.

Gayle and thigh – not normally tongue tied – but walked out of press concerences when questioned about the McLaughlin interview

He sends out tweets that he's just going to have sex.

A few years ago, he opened the Triple Century 333 Sports Bar and Restaurant at the conveniently numbered 69 Knutswood Boulevard in Jamaica's capital, Kingston.

He cultivates a sort of flash trash gangsta rap persona, crossed with Playboy maisonette and wannabe Kanye West kool. Only Gayle ain't fair dinkum original cool. He's a kopy kat.

Gayle – flash trash gangsta rap persona. Big bat. Big cigar. Big ….

He smokes big fat cigars that make Joe Hockey's look like a cigarillo. Gayle may well be god's gift to cricket but he think's he's god's gift to women. Some women obviously agree with him.

He's a notorious sleaze, as Network Ten's Mel McLaughlin, other female journalists and women can attest. There are numerous credible accounts of his creepiness and a number of women have since revealed that Gayle has put the hard word on them in one form or another.

Lauren Wood 's article in yesterday's Herald Sun gives an insight into several incidences involving women in the media in Australia alone.

Experience teaches us that for various reasons, not all women will – or can – speak up about such things. And it is comforting that other women and journalist colleagues have recounted their experiences with Gayle to give sisterly and solidarity support to McLaughlin.

Yesterday, on ABC Radio's The Press Room, in a discussion between Grandstand's Gerard Whateley, Chris Rogers, ESPN Cricinfo's Melinda Farrell and Fox Sports journalist Neroli Meadows, both women pulled no punches.

Here's a quote from Meadows about Gayle's conduct:

I knew straight away he was going to do it; the moment he got out I knew he was going to go off and was going to say something to that effect because he has done it before, he's done it to me, he's done it to several women.

He does this constantly. He is a creep. He has creepy behaviour and the way that he did it to Mel was just that. Mel knew it was going to happen, you could tell by her body language as somebody who has worked with her, she pulled away, you could see in her face: "Yeah okay mate, righto, we knew that this was going to happen."

What really disappoints me is the fact that people will still laugh and the fact that when somebody like myself or Mel says it's not okay, people say: "Oh, it's free speech, oh it's a bit of fun, don't take it so seriously."

It happens – situations like that – ten times a day when you are female in the sports industry and that's just a fact.

Whether it is the fact that the women's toilets aren't open and the men's toilets are, whether it is somebody saying something slightly inappropriate to you as you walk down the hallway, ten times a day without fail.

We don't need that to happen to us in our workplace because that's what it is: it's our workplace. And Mel has been doing her job for ten to 15 years and she has done it with respect.

This is not a discussion about flirting and displays of affection, or seduction, or finding mutual love and lust in the workplace, and – heaven forbid – such joys and delights be driven underground and considered taboo.

Gayle's conduct crosses the line. He thinks he can get away with it. And, for the most part, he does.

Former newspaper editor and CNN talk show presenter, Piers Morgan thinks there was nothing wrong with Gayle hitting on McLaughlin. Probably millions of people agree with him. But that doesn't make it okay.

If he thinks like this, imagine how difficult it must have been for journalists when Morgan was editor, to speak with him about discrimination/harassment of any kind.

Consider this telling exchange between the International Cricket Council and Gayle. The latter had asked to do some training, et cetera. Of course the ICC says no probs and asks if he needs anything else:

ICC Academy @ICCAcademy

@henrygayle @ICC All set then. We will have a net ready for you! Is there anything else we can help you with?

Gayle responds:

The ICC says sure:

There is not even a gentle rebuke in the grovelling ICC response to Gayle.

What Chris Gayle does with his consenting adult females is their business. Having a "strip club" in his home and a dance pole is his business. Good luck, too, to all the partying and fun.

But stop doing this to your sisters, Gayle. Show some respect. Earn some respect.

I don't want to hear about the laughable mere $10,000 fine that Melbourne Renegades CEO, Stuart Coventry slapped on Gayle.

The allrounder is a multimillionaire. He ought to have been suspended.

The "fine" is going to be donated to the McGrath Foundation — a slick PR move, knowing that it tugs on our heart strings.

He should "donate" another $10,000 to a charity of Mel McLaughlin's choosing.

There one more ominous thing about the international media debate about Chris Gayle.

It has suited many, including the Turnbull Government and disgraced former minister Jamie Briggs that the Gayle affair has sucked much of the oxygen from the appalling hit on he made to an Australian female diplomat in a bar in Hong Kong – and his subsequent trafficking of her photo.

If we rightly rail against the Gayle sexploits then we must at least apply equal weight upon the offensive actions of a possibly drunken Jamie Briggs.

I am not about to weigh up the impact of either offence upon the "victims" concerned but Gayle did not kiss Mel McLaughlin, whereas Jamie Briggs did kiss the woman concerned — either on the cheek or on the neck. 

Either way, he made a physical and unwelcome move on the woman.

Both the Gayle and Briggs scandals resonate with the Peter Roebuck story and Brendan Fevola's horrible and cruel trafficking of the photo of a distressed Lara Bingle in the shower, that I wrote about in Independent Australia.

In light of its avowed campaign on violence against women, led by Prime Minister Turnbull, it is untenable that he has failed to appoint a new sex discrimination commissioner.

Given that Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs is temporarily acting in this role, it is imperative that the HRC conduct an immediate inquiry into the Jamie Briggs affair.

We should implement the Government's own laws and compel all data and meta data concerned.

The Jamie Briggs affair must not be allowed to go through to the keeper of these good ol' boys secrets. We need to know what was said. And what was done in our name by Briggs.

We won't be the ones blushing, sweet baby Jamie.

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