Cricket star Chris Gayle has been fined $10,000 following his controversial sideline interview with a female reporter during Monday night's BBL match between Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes.
The big-hitting West Indian on Tuesday had described his attempt to flirt with the Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin live on air as a "simple joke" with no offence or disrespect intended.
However, his comments provoked widespread condemnation as sexist and inappropriate and Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry announced on Tuesday afternoon that Gayle would be fined $10,000 by the franchise with the money to be donated to charity.
The West Indian cricket star has been widely slammed for chauvinist behaviour after attempting to flirt with McLaughlin live on air.
"There wasn't anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel. If she felt that way, I'm really sorry for that," Gayle told reporters on Tuesday in Melbourne.
"There wasn't any harm meant in that particular way, to harm any particular person in any particular way like that.
"It was a simple joke - the game was going on.
"Things get out of proportion but these things happen."
McLaughlin was left visibly disturbed during the interview after Gayle appeared to proposition her.
"Hopefully we can win this game and you and I can have a drink after," Gayle told the reporter who seemed dumbfounded at the statement.
The laughing batsman said his dismissal allowed him to "come to this interview to see you".
"That's the reason why I'm here, just to see your eyes for the first time," he said.
"Hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after. Don't blush baby."
Social media immediately lit up, labelling Gayle's comments as sexist and an affront to women.
It sparked an apology three overs later from the broadcaster who said Gayle's comments were not endorsed and that measures would be taken to avoid future such occurrences.