To defend Chris Gayle’s behaviour towards Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin is to defend the indefensible.
To justify his behaviour is to discard our 21st century values of equality and respect.
His behaviour was unprofessional, misguided, disrespectful to professional journalism, and perhaps above all – it was sexist.
McLaughlin was humiliated in a way which directly undermined her profession as a sports journalist and employee of Australia’s third largest commercial broadcaster, Network Ten. Since the downright fool of himself that Jamaican-born Gayle made on live television, another female journalist, Neroli Meadows, also came forward and spoke of Gayle’s similar flirtatious behaviour that he made towards her and that he did it to “humiliate women”.
The following day Gayle apologised, McLaughlin accepted the apology, and stated that she wanted to move on from the humiliating ordeal and focus on the following the Big Bash cricket tournament, of which Chris Gayle is a star participant in.
But McLaughlin’s acceptance of the apology was to fall on deaf ears. First came the mainstream media analysis, a near week’s worth discussion about Gayle’s misconduct, followed by the in-depth dissection of an apparent underworld of perverse sexism and misogyny existing in Australian sport.
So, to re-iterate clearly; there is no justifying Gayle’s behaviour which was humiliating, to him, but more importantly McLaughlin. But is there a justification in humiliating him, Gayle, to the point where his professional career is in doubt – over one misjudged comment?
Gayle faced social media’s dreaded death by a thousand tweets. In any form of political activism, be it by the new dubbed ‘slacktivism’ of Twitter and ‘Tumblr’ users or any other form of activism, the question must be asked – ‘does the ends justify the means?’.
It must be asked of these so-called feminist activists who choose to hound and ironically humiliate Gayle even after he had apologised, McLaughlin had said ‘let’s move on’, and the league had fined him $10,000 – did they even have an end-game? What was the ultimate goal? Is there a goal of social media humiliation and hashtags other than to humiliate and destroy these apparent unapologetic and unrelenting satanic sexists, who, if not slain online through thousands of disapproving tweets, will continue to prowl on professional women everywhere?
Seriously, what’s the aim here?!
Gayle has been outed. He’s been punished. But he does not deserve to lose his job and have a constant air of hatred around him. These Twitterstorms do not have an end game or a goal. They are a form of humiliation built on gang mentality.
It’s time to move on from the Chris Gayle controversey, Australia. And more importantly it’s time to move on from death by a thousand tweets whenever someone makes a daft comment.