Furious, aggressive, belligerent, destructive. These are adjectives used to describe the on-field play of West Indies star Chris Gayle and Manchester United ace Wayne Rooney. However, on Thursday, if reports are to be believed, the aforementioned words perfectly captured their mood off the field in two separate incidents.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore opener was in trouble after he allegedly pushed a regional television channel reporter while he tried to film the southpaw on a shopping spree at Brigade Road here. Reports indicated that Gayle abused the crew and tried to rough them up. His bodyguards also allegedly attempted to assault the journalists.
The journalists approached Bangalore police commissioner, Jyothiprakash Mirji, to file a complaint against Gayle. He, however, handed the responsibility to his deputy (central division), G Ramesh.
Rooney, on the other hand, had an altercation, but only in the virtual world, after he ‘threatened’ an abusive fan.
The person in question, a Liverpool fan whose account was under the moniker 'sam_oldham_LFC', tweeted on Rooney's account — created last month and already having over 600,000 followers — “Rooney ya fat wh**e ill smash ya head in with a pitchin wedge an bury ya with a ballast fork ya fat ugly lil n***e.”
To this Rooney retorted, “I will put u asleep within 10 seconds hope u turn up if u don't gonna tell everyone ur scared u little nit. I’ll be waiting. Don't say stuff and not follow up on it. I'll be waiting.”
As the row escalated, other users on the social networking site waded in. Rooney quickly tweeted, "Haha bit of banter and people go nuts chill all people."
‘Gayle is being targeted’
The RCB team management was quick to dismiss the accusations as a cheap publicity gimmick by the regional channel to gain some mileage. “Gayle is the hottest property in the IPL; in fact after India skipper MS Dhoni no one else has drawn as much attention as Gayle this season.
“This was obviously a ploy to distract him before such an important match (against table-topper Chennai Super Kings on Sunday),” said RCB's media manager Avinaash Vaidhya. “They wanted to attract a few eyeballs. It's sad that they have to resort to such tactics.”
Explaining what actually happened, he said, "Gayle was uncomfortable being filmed while he was shopping and politely asked them to give him his space. Even after this they didn't relent, so our bodyguards and the security staff in the shop removed them from the premises."
High-profile athletes are often easy prey. Rooney just needs to ask teammate Darren Gibson that. The Manchester United midfielder joined Twitter only to be forced off the social networking site after just two hours following a torrent of abuse.