“How does the pitch feel so far in terms of the training (and) the weather,” was the question asked by the female who did not identify herself during a news conference here on Wednesday.
“Well I haven’t touched yours yet so I don’t know how it feels,” was Gayle’s response.
The woman laughed uncontrollably at which point the Tallawahs captain remarked: “I like your smile; that’s nice.”
At that point, someone at the head table whispered to Gayle “stick to cricket” and “press conference, please.”
In an email, later, the CPL spokesperson defended Gayle’s action saying “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, gender equity advocate and head of Women Against Rape (WAR) Alexandrina Wong has blasted both the CPL for their response to the situation and Gayle for making the “sexist” remarks.
Wong said, “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 told OBSERVER 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.
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.”
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 here today.
The home team will play the Barbados Tridents on Saturday the Red Steel on Sunday.