Tennis Player Maxime Hamou Banned From French Open After Kissing Reporter Maly Thomas
French tennis player Maxime Hamou was banned from participating in the remainder of this year’s French Open after he repeatedly attempted to kiss Eurosport reporter Maly Thomas on air.
The incident occurred when Thomas was interviewing Hamou after the tennis player’s loss during the first round of the Open. Hamou, put his arm around Thomas and leaned in for a kiss. After the reporter ducked away, Hamou went in again, this time, Thomas can be seen trying to push him away and to get out from under his arm. About 15 seconds later, he tries again and Thomas grabs his arm to get out from under him.
The hosts of Thomas’ show on Eurosport can be heard and seen laughing as the incident unfolded.
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— Prise Marteau (@PriseMarteau) May 30, 2017
The French Tennis Federation, the French Open’s governing body, banned Hamou, 21, from the remainder of the tournament, calling his actions “reprehensible.”
Speaking to the Huffington Post France Thomas said, “It was frankly unpleasant. If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him.”
Hamou, who has garnered a reputation for being controversial, apologized in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“I offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she feels hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview. I have just spent a magnificent week here at Roland Garros … and I expressed my overflow of enthusiasm crudely towards Maly, who I know and respect sincerely. I’m still learning every day from my mistakes to become a better tennis player and a better person.”
Eurosport, the station which broadcast the incident, released a statement addressing the issue as well. “The behavior of the interviewee was highly inappropriate and we do not condone such conduct in any way.”
During Hamou’s final match before being banned, the young player reamed out the umpire. After the umpire made a close judgement call, Hamou approached his chair and asked him repeatedly, “Why you are here?” Earlier in the weekend, the athlete walked out on a journalist who asked a question he did not like.
— FX Rallet (@FX_Rallet) May 29, 2017
Hamau has a current singles ranking of 287. His career high came in 2015, when he ranked 211.
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