KINGSTON, Jamaica – What the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) describes as a friendly between Jamaica Tallawahs Captain, Chris Gayle and a female reporter has been condemned as ‘sexist’ by a women’s rights group in Antigua.
The Antigua Observer reports that Gayle made the somewhat controversial comment when the reporter asked, “How does the pitch feel so far in terms of the training (and) the weather?”
His response, “Well I haven’t touched yours yet so I don’t know how it feels.”
Seemingly unperturbed by the comment, the woman laughed uncontrollably the Antigua Observer mentioned. Gayle continued the exchange and complimenting the woman, said “I like your smile; that’s nice.”
The report continued to say that someone at the head table whispered to Gayle “stick to cricket” and “press conference, please” at that point.
In an email later, the CPL spokesperson defended Gayle’s action. “Chris is excited for the tournament and was having a laugh with a journalist, who had a laugh back; there was no malice intended.
“The lady in question had a jovial goodbye chat with him and we don’t believe this was the action of someone who was offended,” the spokesperson added.
However, according to the Antigua Observer, gender equity advocate and head of Women Against Rape (WAR) Alexandrina Wong lashed out at both the CPL for their response to the situation and Gayle for making the “sexist” remarks.
Wong argued that, “What it’s implying is one person’s power over another in the use of the language and so we can either say it’s sexist and hegemonic.”
She continued to say that the response from the local reporter “indicates that she obviously doesn’t know her right to autonomy.
“She obviously doesn’t know her right when it comes to agency of body so that she can identify certain types of language, how they allude to her biology and what its saying about her as a person,” Wong said.
Meanwhile Wong has called on Gayle to offer a public apology and added “CPL should demand it from him because as senior officials they ought to know and to behave better when it comes to gender equality,” the Antigua Observer said.
Gayle’s comments were made at a news conference at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds ahead of the Jamaica Tallawahs taking on the home team, Antigua Hawksbills on Thursday.