Chris Gayle and the fine line between stupid and clever

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If you don’t already know, Chris Gayle’s unique selling point is that he likes women. That’s how he defines and sells himself. Quite how vacuous a person has to be before they decide upon a characteristic shared by 90-odd per cent of men as being somehow self-defining is beyond us.

To make it stick, Gayle goes all in. The latest example saw him attempting to chat up a female reporter during a live TV interview. He did it because HE REALLY LIKES WOMEN – NO, LIKE WAY MORE THAN YOU DO.

Unsurprisingly, she wasn’t interested.

It’s a fine line between stupid and clever

There’s a definite line between being ‘a character’ and just being sleazy and disrespectful. For example, when Gayle ignored the ramblings of old Etonian, former MCC president and ex-England manager, John Barclay, and asked him, “You get much pussy?” – that’s funny. It’s totally inappropriate, but there’s a certain power dynamic at play where above all it just seems mischievous or amusingly oblivious.

When a reporter asks you a direct question and you ignore what she’s saying to make a comment about her eyes, that’s different. That’s not mischievous. That’s undermining her and making it impossible for her to do her job. In this instance, Gayle is the megabucks sports star; one of the big names of the whole damn event. It’s a different dynamic.

A lot of people working in sport apparently don’t see the difference.

The furore

As much as this is about Chris Gayle and what he said, it’s probably more about the world that created him. Most people commenting on the issue have pointed out that he’s been swanning about behaving like a naughty 13-year-old for many years now and has not just been left unchecked, but has effectively been encouraged. Chris Rogers makes the point that Gayle’s laddish reputation has seen him put on a pedestal by the media.

We have the dubious pleasure of having to trawl through all of Gayle’s tweets once a fortnight as part of our Twitter round-up for Cricinfo. The thing that always strikes us the most is not so much how he relentlessly promotes himself as some sort of fun-loving ‘player,’ but that there’s always someone who finds him funny. He can say anything, literally anything – usually something totally straightforward about how he likes to party or how he likes women – and some retard will tweet him to tell him he’s ‘hilarious’.

We always assumed it was 12-year-old boys for whom English was a second language, but maybe it’s sportsmen and members of the media.


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  1. He also said it was ‘just a joke’ which exposes him as having just about the most feeble sense of humour of all time.

    1. He’s a top-level, high quality dickhead: an exceptional achievement in sport, given his competition in cricket alone is David Warner, Mohamed Asif, Shane Warne, etc. If this instance was a one-off event of a player running his mouth then I may have been inclined to shrug my shoulders a little, but Gayle has a lot of form on this kind of behaviour and it is nearly as tiring as the string of sexist people lining up to defend him.

      Was cheering to see Chris Rogers go on the record about the man’s attitude however.

      1. Bucky’s possibly my favourite (ex-)Australian cricketer, just ahead of Nathan Lyon. Always seemed like a nice modest chap.

  2. What’s weird for me in this case is that I find it really reprehensible and unpleasant but my wife finds it funny. She puts it in the same bracket as the ‘you get much pussy?’ comment. As just more evidence that Gayle doesn’t care…its a peculiar situation.

    1. people who take cricket seriously will feel deeply insulted by gayle’s attitude as the interviewer was not a model but a serious journalist with more than a decade of experience.

      but others who don’t give a damn about cricket as a sport (but more as an amusement) might get amused by Gayle’s antics, I guess…

      1. I’ve always thought “banter” was when you and your mates are happily insulting each other, knowing all the time that it’s not serious. You don’t proceed to go up to a random person and start giving them the same treatment, as they can hardly be expected to know whether you mean it or not.

  3. “He can say anything, literally anything – usually something totally straightforward about how he likes to party or how he likes women – and some retard will tweet him to tell him he’s ‘hilarious’.”

    Good pickup. For larfs, whenever someone does this, click over to their profile. They are always mad supporters of a football club and most of their tweets are about football.

  4. He shouldn’t have said it and he’s a div. But some people are acting like he’s run over their granny or launched a match fixing syndicate.

    1. Don’t think it’s what he said that’s so offensive as what it’s a symptom of.

    2. I’m not sure how the deliberate belittling of one of the few female professionals in a male-dominated world is significantly less serious than the fixing of a fundamentally pointless game. I coach boys and girls at rugby, and my sons play cricket with boys and girls. I’m picturing one of those nine-year-old girls seeing this interview and wondering whether cricket is for her.

      1. What has me staggered is the vehemence with which Gayle has been singled out here. Unless he has some mad ventriloquism skills that he has hidden from the world he did not provide his own laugh track complete with lewd interjections.
        Originally the host broadcaster tweeted the interview with #smooth. It took 10 minutes and a call from the head of network sport before the 3 jokers in the booth issued an on air condemnation of Gayle without feeling the need to apologise for their own actions.
        I agree Gayle was out of order, but he wasn’t on his own. The level of vitriol being directed at him by the same media who are either unwilling or too scared to criticise their colleagues reeks of hypocrisy.

      2. Yeah, as we said in the article, it’s about the world that created him as much as anything and those guffaws say more about that than Gayle’s actions.

      1. I meant to suggest to Sam that seeing her take on this would provide further reasons as to why this isn’t just (ugh) ‘bants’, and warrants the response it’s getting.

        Also, why doesn’t my Star Wars Monopoly set include Rey?

  5. There is indeed a fine line between stupid and clever. Chris Gayle is twenty miles on the stupid side, though, close to the fine line between imbecilic and offensive.

    As punishment, he should be made to go for a night out with his Twitter sycophants. It’s not likely that any of them has a social life, let alone one that involves women. A few paparazzi photos of him and his new friends at the youth club ought to put him in his place. Failing that, just let everyone assume that far from being someone who “loves women”, he is like all other misogynists – insecure, tedious, and scared of clever women.

      1. There’s a fine line between pointing out that someone has missed a pop-cultural reference in a nice way and…

  6. So it’s OK for Gayle to belittle John Barclay because he’s an Old Etonian ( boo hiss ) but not OK if he does it to a woman, because social justice or summat. Of course I realise that being an Old Etonian is a major offence these days especially to the chippy northerners amongst us but when did this place turn into the Guardian ?

    1. I don’t actually like either of them myself (crude “humour” is crude “humour”, regardless of who it’s to), but nor do I feel it’s a fair comparison. If Old Etonians had been fighting for being given equal recognition in the sport, indeed in the sporting world, for years, and then Gayle had said something non-cricket related that could only have been said because he was talking to an old Etonian – then the comparison works.

      1. Is this a cultural difference between the US and the UK that I’m not aware of? Because over here, the only people who use that word are the sorts of people who would find Chris Gayle hilarious.

      2. The big difference between culture in USA and UK is that USA has lots of guns and very little culture.

      3. Amusingly, I see the Graun also references Spinal Tap and fine lines in its article today. Is KC actually Marina Hyde?

    2. Balladeer puts it well. Also if Barclay had been trying to do his job at the time and if how well he was perceived to do that job was dependent on Gayle’s response.

      1. To put it simply, if Gayle had asked *do you get much *** to a male interviewer during a live match telecast, it would have been equally rude. But in a private conversation there is no point making a big deal about it.

  7. Chris Gayle has plenty of previous on this offensive behaviour. The “small sanction for a first offence” is disingenuous to say the least.

    But this web site should be safe space for me. I should be able to come here knowing that I am safe here, away from reading about offensive stuff.

    And away from offensive stuff about offensive stuff. And away from stuff about whether potentially offensive stuff is actually offensive stuff or not.

    I think I’ll just curl up here in the foetal position until KC posts something else.

    Apologies to anyone who finds the term “foetal position” offensive.

  8. Back to cricket…

    Anyone remember the 2005 Ashes? The final day of that series began with the sides level after the first innings, with England one wicket down in their second. There was nothing, nothing whatsoever, straightforward about playing out the draw that day. It required the first of KP’s specials in the afternoon to put the match beyond doubt.

    Approaching lunch in Cape Town the situation is somewhat similar, sans Warne of course. It’s not that I think we will lose, just that the draw is not the guaranteed result people are assuming it is. And if there is one thing we English fans are good at, it is finding things to be unnecessarily worried about.

    1. It’s all right, Johnny Bairstow and Moeen Ali are just the sort of batsmen we need for this crisis.

  9. It’s squeaky bum time again, for the first time in a while.

    People keep sending me e-mails and I cannot distinguish the pocket vibration caused by an e-mail coming through and the pocket vibration caused by a Cricinfo wicket alert.

    Ivan the Smart Phone – you are torturing me today!!

    1. Seemingly true… first to the news. What are you, Sam, a proper journalist or something?!

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