Two stories have dominated our sporting news circle over the past few days with Chris Gayles' silly treatment of Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin and Dick Smith's receivership sharing the crown.
We'll start with Gayle, who has sent not just the cricketing world but even the general world into a self-reflective spin as he decided to bring his schmoozing ability into a live interview. It's been just as interesting hearing/seeing the reaction from the public as it has been learning about how our borderline sexist ways still exist in nearly every facet of life.
Hardly a crime, just a bit creepy...
It happens all the time?
Wait, he showed his willy to a different female reporter?
Why isn't he on Tinder? Wait, he is?
Where do I sit on the matter? I understand that some of you think Gayle was joking, or that it was just a bit of fun ... 'she should have appreciated the complement' and so on. Which is a large portion of the problem, more of a problem in society though so I won't go down that route.
Simply put in a professional sporting environment, where the Big Bash has just launched the Women's Big Bash and is leading the way in sporting equality, you just can't act that way.
How you conduct yourself when you're with your mates, having a laugh, packing a cone or sipping a beer/Sprite is different. Besides the backwards attitude towards females that this displays, there are sponsors and lots and lots of cash being thrown around, profits to be made, all of which can be impacted by a horny bloke.
I love Chris Gayle, the dude has held my cricketing heart for the past decade. What's super-duper weird is that we are now hearing from more female reporters that this sort of incident is far from isolated. How can it be 'just a joke' or 'political correctness gone made' when this isn't a one-off?
There's simply no room for this in professional sport.
On the other hand, sex has always been used to sell stuff, including cricket so it's a bit hypocritical of me ya?
Imagine if Gayle was touring Aotearoa and made similar comments to our kiwi cricket leading lady Laura McGoldrick.
We've all laughed at Gayle's Instagram/Twitter/Facebook antics, he's got a stripper pole in his room so what else do we expect?
Ugh, I don't know.
Meanwhile in South Africa, Temba Bavuma did something amazing...
I give zero fucks about Dick Smith's receivership in itself. The Dick Smith Nines? Well that's where my interest sits after it was announced that Dick Smith, a staple of my 20-odd years on this planet, would be no longer.
Apparently the Nines will go ahead without a hitch and that makes sense. Everything would have already been done by now with money transferred, deals done and so on which doesn't leave much room for shit to hit the fan.
What this does show is how quickly everything could fall apart for the Nines if the money isn't there. Let's remember that the biggest draw card for NRL clubs to take part in the Nines was/is the cash and lot's of it. To get NRL clubs and players to stop their pre-season training, travel to Aotearoa, risk all sorts of injuries for an event that isn't run or led by the NRL takes a lot of cash and if that cash vanishes? Well it's not looking good in my mind.
I have warmed to Penrith Panthers General Manager Phil Gould's way of thinking on this matter as the NRL club perspective is something that is lost in the glitz and the glam of the NRL Nines - "It's money making venture for outside promoters who use our NRL contracted players without compensation for injuries".
The Nines does do many great things for rugby league and I'm certainly not all in on Gould's way of thinking, I just think that with the likes of the Big Bash enjoying success, it will be very interesting to see how the Nines evolves over the next few years.
My worry for the Nines is that it is based on money as there's a large financial reward for the winner. Sponsors might dry up or NRL clubs simply might not care about winning the Nines, thus sending a weaker squad with less star-power/NRL first-graders which would hinder the product.
Zinedine Zidane is my favourite footballer and he's now the coach of Real Madrid, shout out to him.
Speaking of football, here's our latest Footy Rhubarb...