The tweet that was quickly deleted by Ten Sport
The Ten Network has moved quickly to apologise for a tweet posted last night by its social media team that included the hashtag #smooth along with a video of cricketer Chris Gayle awkwardly complimenting sport reporter Mel Mclaughlin at a Renegades game in Hobart last night.
The hashtag accompanied a video post of the following exchange: “I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well, that’s the reason why I’m here – just to see your eyes for the first time. It’s nice. So, hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink after. Don’t blush, baby.”
Ten’s head of sport David Barham told Mumbrella this morning: “The original tweet was posted by a social media producer who quickly realised it was inappropriate and removed it.
“Ten apologises for the tweet and will ensure that such an error is not repeated”.
Sexist, sleazy or both? Whatever it is, @Mel_Mclaughlin handles this exchange with Chris Gayle superbly @henrygayle pic.twitter.com/JQyIUiNV3l
Mclaughlin appeared uncomfortable but maintained her professionalism, telling Gayle: “I’m not blushing”, before returning to her cricket-related questions. While the exchange immediately drew comment Ten Sport chose to post the #smooth tweet which soon drew criticism, while the Network’s own commentator Andrew Flintoff tweeted that Gayle’s remarks to Mclaughlin had been inappropriate and that he had acted like a “chop”.
Other sports commentators also tweeted:
However, as the controversy grew the @tensporttv account tweeted:
The @tensporttv account also retweeted head of the Big Bash League Anthony Everard, who tweeted:
This morning, Ten also voiced its support for its reporter: “Mel Mclaughlin is a respected and professional sports journalist and deserves to be treated as such”.
“Ten prides itself on promoting women in sport and is pleased that Cricket Australia and the Melbourne Renegades have reiterated that there is no place for disrespectful behaviour in the game.”
In its Big Bash media summary this morning Ten publicity promoted how Chris Gayle’s name trended nationally last night.
The match between the Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Renegades was watched by a metropolitan audience of 983,000 across the five cities.