CHANNEL 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin says she accepts Chris Gayle’s apology for his controversial behaviour during a sideline interview on live television and wants to now move on from the saga.
Gayle has been fined $10,000 by BBL franchise the Melbourne Renegades after attempting to flirt with McLaughlin during the Renegades win over Hobart on Monday night, with Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland declaring Gayle’s behaviour “completely out of line” and “inappropriate for the workplace”.
The 36-year-old T20 star issued an apology to McLaughlin on Tuesday morning after widespread condemnation over his conduct, but also declared the ‘simple joke’ had been blown out of proportion.
McLaughlin told Channel 10’s The Project that she was embarrassed by the fallout around the incident, and now wants to move on from the furore.
“I’ve not spoken to (Gayle) personally but I flew home from Hobart today and he was at Melbourne airport,” McLaughlin said.
“I know he issued an apology. I accept that and I just want to move on.
“I don’t really want to be the subject of such conversations, I like just going about my business and doing my job,” McLaughlin also said earlier in the day on Channel 10 news.
“(It’s) definitely a good thing people are talking … you know, we want equality, we always want equality.
“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’s) a little bit disappointing because it just doesn’t happen normally.”
Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry offered McLaughlin an unreserved apology on behalf of the franchise, but defended the decision to issue a fine instead of a suspension, the sum of which will be donated by the club to the Jane McGrath Foundation.
Coventry describing the situation as a “one-off”, with Gayle’s exemplary conduct since he joined the Renegades this summer seen as a mitigating factor.
In the immediate aftermath of the interview Channel 10 head of sport David Barham said the network would no longer fit Gayle with a microphone to capture his on field comments and would not be asked to film helmet cam footage.
“We will be seeking an apology,” Barham told The Herald Sun.
“It was totally inappropriate behaviour. Mel’s a working journalist doing a job.”
“We won’t be using him in the game anymore. Unless things change in the next few days, it’s not happening,” he said.