A French tennis player Maxime Hamou has been banned from the French Open 2017 for forcibly kissing a female reporter while live on television.
Following a lost match with Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, Hamou was being interviewed by Eurosport reporter Maly Thomas, who was asking the player about the game.
Things suddenly took an unexpected turn when the 21-year-old tennis champ, out of the blue, put his arms around the woman’s neck before pulling her closer and then kissing her on the cheek and near the ear.
Thomas, who looked visibly uncomfortable, tried to laugh off the situation and move away, but Hamou who had a tight grip of her continued to kiss her. At one point she even moved her face away and attempted to push the player to the side but none of it worked.
Speaking to HuffPost, Thomas described the interview and “frankly unpleasant” and also stated:
“If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him.”
Following the incident, the French Tennis Federation has decided to ban Hamou from the tournament owing to his unacceptable actions. “The leadership of the tournament has decided to remove the accreditation of Maxime Hamou, following his reprehensible behavior with a (female) journalist, yesterday, Monday, May 29,” read a statement from the FTF.
Soon after the statement was released, the player took to Instagram to “apologize” for his shameful behavior.
“I would like to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my behavior during her interview. I just spent a wonderful week here at Roland Garros, living my most beautiful emotions as a tennis player, and I let my overflow of enthusiasm express itself awkwardly toward Maly, who I know and who I sincerely respect. Nothing of what is written was my intention. I am available to her to present my apologies in person if she would like. I still learn every day from my mistakes to become a better tennis player and a better person,” Hamou wrote.
However, while Hamou probably thinks a small statement on social media can make up for his disgusting attitude towards a woman, he is surely wrong. It is about time celebrities, sportsmen and other members of the media industry learn that being rich or famous does not give anyone the right to harass a woman.
Check out the video of the incident above.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Wikimedia Commons