Chris Gayle is a creep who frequently acts inappropriately around women, sports journalist Neroli Meadows says.
The Fox Sports and ABC reporter said the former West Indies Test captain was a repeat offender when it came to being disrespectful towards women working in the media.
Meadows said she had too had been a target of Gayle’s harassment, but it was just the tip of the iceberg of what women working in sport dealt with on a daily basis.
The journalist said as soon as Gayle was dismissed during the Melbourne Renegades’ BBL win over the Hobart Hurricanes, she knew he was going to be disrespectful towards Channel Ten broadcaster Mel McLaughlin, whose job is to interview players after they’ve left the field.
“He does this constantly, he’s a creep, he has creepy behaviour,” she said.
Speaking on ABC Radio on Tuesday morning, Meadows and ESPN Cricinfo reporter Melinda Farrell were asked to comment on Gayle’s treatment of McLaughlin.
Mid-game, Gayle said he had agreed to the interview with McLaughlin “just to see your eyes for the first time”.
On air he went on to ask the journalist out for a drink, telling her not to blush.
McLaughlin, who appeared uncomfortable but remained professional throughout, told him she was not blushing.
After Gayle’s comments McLaughlin continued the interview, asking if he had been carrying an injury during the match.
Farrell said she felt sorry for McLaughlin, who she said was clearly made to feel uncomfortable.
Farrell became upset when talking about the incident, saying the journalist had been put in an impossible position where she would be criticised whether she spoke out against Gayle or not.
“To have that happen on live television… she is an absolute A-grade journalist and broadcaster and it’s horrible to see her put in that position,” she said.
Meadows said Gayle had acting in a similar way towards her during a press conference, then later stood over her and asked “when are we going for this drink?”
She said Gayle made her feel intimidated.
“He’s a big guy, it makes you feel intimidated and it’s just not OK,” she said.
Farrell said she had also been the target of Gayle’s inappropriate behaviour, before the same press conference.
Meadows said she was particularly disappointed that the rest of the Channel Ten commentary team initially laughed at Gayle’s comments and that when female sport reporters spoke out against such behaviour they were told to get over it.
She said women in the sport industry were often harassed.
“We have successful careers and they get defined by idiots saying the wrong thing inappropriately and then other people laughing as though it’s the one thing that’s ever happened,” Meadows said.
“It is, as they say, the tip of the iceberg.”
Gayle has been writing paid columns for Fairfax Media during the BBL.