Gayle must apologise genuinely

Posted January 6, 2016

Sporting stars have a huge opportunity during their playing days to profit from endorsements and set themselves up for life after they hang up their boots.

Most don’t take advantage of this, while some lose the chance by doing something stupid that limits their appeal among potential employers or sponsors.

Chris Gayle needs to apologise genuinely to the sports reporter he embarrassed on live television a few nights ago to avoid risking his future opportunities. His best approach would have been to admit he was wrong and say he was extremely sorry. But by using words like, “if I offended her,” he hasn’t done this. While many argue this would have been the right thing to do for moral reasons, it would also be in his best interests.

Now another woman has come forward saying he exposed himself to her in a locker room last year. If this is true, Gayle needs to confront this. He needs to front up and apologise. If there are other women likely to come forward, and there may well not be, he needs to get on the front foot with a genuine apology to any woman he may have offended.

This is what Tiger Woods failed to do. That kept the story going for months and saw the former world number one lose multiple endorsements. I’m not putting Gayle in the same league as Woods. Woods’s behaviour was far worse than anything Gayle has been accused of. But the same principles apply. Front up for what you’ve done wrong, apologise and then the story will go away a lot sooner.

For more on my media training and crisis communication workshops, contact [email protected] or 029 200 8555.

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