AT FIRST BLUSH: The Jamaican and West Indies star whose comments to a female Aussie TV reporter drew the ire of viewers around the global.
Unsurprisingly, people are still talking about Chris Gayle and ‘Blushgate’, a polarizing issue for sure that has struck a nerve in the public consciousness, the ripple effects carrying all the way to Friday night’s glitzy and star-studded National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. Amidst all the post-show excitement, we caught up with wonder women Connie Francis, Marcia Griffiths and Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange to hear their thoughts on the hot topic that’s been dominating the court of public opinion for weeks now, as well as their advice for the man at the centre of it all, as the storm winds die down:
“I think that for humans we learn from experience, and I am sure that he has learnt his lesson. Like all professional areas, be it sportsman or entertainer, management and direction are very important, and giving advice as to how to handle interviews, the dos and the don’ts, are of extreme importance. So I think in the case of Chris Gayle he has learnt his lesson, and he has in fact been the vehicle through which others have learnt what to do and what not to do.” – Opposition spokesman on sports and culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange
“I have no qualms about [the incident], but I don’t think that was the place for that. But I can’t kill him for expressing how he feels. That’s just my opinion. I don’t think he’s feeling really bad. It happens, and as a person who has been in sports you have to cross a lot of hurdles, and this is just one of them. It’s just for him to put it behind him as soon as possible. I am a woman and I like when a guy says something like, ‘Well done; you’re looking fine or whatever.’ But I don’t think that was the right setting. Probably on another occasion, instead of publicly.” – Former Sunshine Girls coach and captain, Connie Francis
“[This issue] is out of my league. But in all things they say, ‘This too shall pass.’ So it will pass. I know he will overcome. Those things don’t really bother me, but I try to be professional in everything that I do. I don’t like to mix it up. I believe in professionalism all the way.” – Reggae queen Marcia Griffiths