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Jamaica Tallawahs Captain, Chris Gayle addresses members of the media at a press conference at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds (CPLT20.com)

Jamaica Tallawahs Captain, Chris Gayle addresses members of the media at a press conference at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds (CPLT20.com)

I don’t know about you but I think Chris Gayle’s recent comments in response to a question from a reporter at a press conference were totally sexist and disrespectful – And the reporter laughing is at best irrelevant and at worst heartbreaking.

In case you missed it here’s a clip of the comments (within the article)

For those who think she wasn’t offended… So what if she wasn’t? If my boss refers to a female colleague as a bitch and she’s ok with it – HELL NO it doesn’t make it right and he better think twice before he refers to me as one. I for one see that laughter though, as nervousness/I don’t know how to respond/Should I respond?/What are people going to think?/It’s Chris Gayle! I can’t challenge him. Can I?/I’m going to be labeled a feminazi. Or it will be said that I have an agenda/It’s Chris Gayle! The cricket star! So shocked and unconsciously mute now – What comes out instead? Nervous laughter… It’s a coping mechanism. Raise your hand if you’ve never witnessed it or more likely experienced it yourself.

So, yes, Chris needs to apologize – And if enough of us get together, we can make it easy for him to do so or very difficult for him not to. We have unlimited access to sports (and other) journalists online and they are always looking for stories. Well… We need to give them one. At the end of the day, the goal as I see it, is not so much to get Chris to apologize. Yes, we want that to happen and for him to recognize that what he said is unacceptable but I see it more as us preventing others from making similar utterances and understanding that what he said was totally inappropriate. You must think twice before you say stupid shit. We know… Speech is free – But – Consequences will cost you.

I haven’t seen anything about Chris Gayle’s comments on my FB timeline so I will be putting this comment on my timeline. I will also be posting this (what I’ve written here) on my blog. Is there a Twitter hashtag? I know; there are some out there who think hashtag activism is a waste of time and does nothing but I disagree with that notion. At its core it’s an awareness tool which is a big part of activism. So it’s not going to solve the problem on its own but it can make the unknown mainstream and put pressure on people to act.

Don’t even get me started on the CPL statement with their… “Chris’ comments were mere pre-match hijinks and made with no malice intended…” Seriously! Pre-match hijinks! We’re talking about a grown man here, right? And malice…! I really wonder how many people heard that and thought he meant any malice. We thought he meant something more sinister… Just creepy! He was disrespectful, plain and simple. I’m not sure about any of you but I’m deeply troubled that they continue to support him – And – their ill-advised statements make them just as bad.

Here’s an article referring to the CPL statement in The Daily Observer.

This event has many sponsors, who have been decidedly quiet. All of us need to start calling/emailing these establishments/people and let them know that you are horrified that they can continue to support the person who made such sexist comments. I would want to believe those comments he made are in direct conflict with their company’s culture of respect for all individuals – And if it is, they should say so and demand he apologizes and for CPL to retract their absurd “Mad Men era” statement and treat this matter with the seriousness and urgency it requires.

 


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