Player tries to kiss journo, kicked out of French Open

Deccan Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE -

Paris, May 30: A French ten­nis player who tried to kiss a tele­vi­sion re­porter against her will dur­ing a live broad­cast at Roland Gar­ros was ban­ished from the tour­na­ment on Tues­day for his “rep­re­hen­si­ble be­hav­iour”.

Maxime Hamou, 21, grabbed Eurosport jour­nal­ist Maly Thomas around the neck and shoul­ders while she in­ter­viewed him fol­low­ing his first round de­feat on Mon­day.

“It was frankly un­pleas­ant. If it hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him,” Thomas told the French edi­tion of the Huff­in­g­ton Post.

Hamou, the world num­ber 287, was sub­se­quently ban­ished from the Roland Gar­ros site by or­gan­is­ers.

“The tour­na­ment di­rec­tors have de­cided to can­cel the ac­cred­i­ta­tion of Maxime Hamou fol­low­ing his rep­re­hen­si­ble be­hav­iour with a jour­nal­ist on Mon­day,” said a Roland Gar­ros state­ment.

A Eurosport spokesman said that Hamou’s ac­tions were “highly in­ap­pro­pri­ate”.

“We sin­cerely re­gret the in­ci­dent that oc­curred dur­ing Mon­day evening’s in­ter­view be­tween Maly Thomas and Maxime Hamou. The be­hav­iour of the in­ter­vie­wee was highly in­ap­pro­pri­ate and we do not con­done such con­duct in any way,” the spokesman said.

“Maly is a highly re­spected jour­nal­ist and we are pleased that a full apol­ogy is be­ing of­fered. We apol­o­gise to any view­ers who may have been af­fected.”

The in­ci­dent echoed West Indies cricket leg­end Chris Gayle’s be­hav­iour with a fe­male re­porter af­ter a match in Aus­tralia in Jan­uary, 2016.

Gayle opted to ig­nore ques­tions on the game from Net­work Ten jour­nal­ist Mel McLaugh­lin and in­stead told her: “Your eyes are beau­ti­ful, hope­fully we can win this game and then we can have a drink af­ter as well. Don’t blush, baby.”

Maxime Hamou

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