Letter To Chris Gayle: Do Not Apologise

Do not apologise, Chris.

Cricket is a sport that reserves commentary to expert journalists and legendary (male) players.

But Mel McLaughlin is beautiful. Mel is also a woman. So it is okay for you not to do your job when she is doing hers. It is okay for you to deny her a professional interview when her professionalism is what brought her to the top of sport journalism.

Do not apologise, Chris.

Dwayne Bravo did the same thing one year ago.

Maybe it is an inside joke, something running in the locker room. A laugh the boys have after hard day with the bat and ball. A man point you had to score for the world to see.

Do not apologise, Chris.

You score on and off the field.

41 off 15 balls in the Australian Big Bash come with relative ease. Why are people making what you said a big deal?

Do not apologise, Chris.

No one really reads about the growing field of sexism in sports journalism. No one really wants to address the sexualising of women in public, persistent undermining of their jobs, objectifying of their bodies and undervaluing of their contributions.

Do not apologise, Chris.

Dem people not from the Caribbean!

We do not talk truthfully among ourselves about the line between complimenting and harassment. Wearing make up, looking pretty and being in the presence of a celebrity is enough to be denied your dignity. Verbal innuendo and unwanted remarks are part of the culture we do not want to get rid of.

Do not apologise, Chris.

West Indies Cricket is suffering.

And so are West Indian men.

Do not apologise, Chris.

You were right, she should not have blushed.

She said she wasn’t but you knew she was. Sexism has that effect.

Do not apologise, Chris.

Maybe she did not want to interview you about the game.

She was a fan who pretended to be a reporter…and she really wanted that offer for drinks…

Do not apologise, Chris.

I heard that you did. It didn’t sound like one to me, so I am happy.

Let us show the world our limited horizons and an ethical consciousness the size of a Chubby Red Stripe bottle.

And if you want to go against my advice…maybe next time, you know more than any of us that if you wanted to track somebody…it is best done against your fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt!

Yours Truly,
West Indian Supporter since coconut branch hit sour lime for six.

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8 Comments

  1. Addevi
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Good post.
    It’s sad when I realise the large number of people who think it this situation was funny rather than upsetting.
    It’s ridiculous that his apology of ‘oh I am sorry YOU are offended (but not sorry I did the thing to offend you)’ is acceptable to a lot of people.
    Unfortunately this mentality is common in the West Indies: y’all women only got nuff talk, but y’all like the attention!

    Shameful.

  2. Danielle
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome writing!

  3. Lee
    January 6, 2016
    Reply

    THANK YOU! I am so annoyed by people making a joke of this situation and even going so far as to make it into a race issue. As a woman who has endured things similar to Mel’s situation, I can only feel disgust towards him. There is definitely a HUGE difference between a compliment and downright harassment. ‘Don’t blush baby’ how disgusting.

  4. Stevie
    January 6, 2016
    Reply

    Well said! The number of people who think the woman secretly wanted him or was wrong for not accepting his offer is ridiculously high. It’s nice to see we still have a few intelligent people left in our society.

  5. Chanzo
    January 6, 2016
    Reply

    Thanks Amilcar! It would be interesting to know in CLR (read ‘clear’) terms more about the presence of females in sport media, sport management and sport officiating in the Caribbean. And then compare it the distribution in other (cricketing) regions. WI Cricket helped to (re-)build Caribbean and Black manhood from a sense of servitude to a sense of place and entitlement in the world. Maybe this debate can help open up a new boundary- a discussion about sport business’ transformative potential for women, especially in relation to Caribbean women in visible and authoritative positions in sport management and sport-related media.

  6. w ch
    January 7, 2016
    Reply

    “Familiarity breeds contempt.” That is the whole nub of this story. He didn’t know her, he had never met her but he acted familiar. It was more than friendly, he was trying to hit on her. On live TV in front of millions of people. He was familiar, he bred contempt.

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