“If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him,” the journalist said after the incident
When the world’s 287th ranked tennis player fell in the first round of the French Open, that’s not the only loss he’d suffer at the tournament. The second defeat was much worse. He wouldn’t just be thrown out of the tournament, he’d be thrown off the grounds entirely.
After Maxime Hamou was bounced from the clay courts of Paris, he was interviewed by Eurosport TV’s Maly Thomas. He wrapped his arm around Thomas’ neck in what seemed to be a playful manner, but then he pulled her in close to kiss her. He didn’t stop there. Throughout the interview, he kept trying to land a kiss, and she kept trying to wriggle away. Meanwhile, her colleagues back in the studio were laughing.
Thomas didn’t think it was so funny. Afterward, she told HuffPost France that the whole incident was “frankly unpleasant.” And she added, “If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him.”
In response, the French Tennis Federation banned Hamou from the grounds.
“The management of the tournament has decided to revoke Maxime Hamou’s accreditation following his reprehensible behavior with a journalist yesterday,” the FTT said in a statement.
It’s unfortunate that Thomas, who was merely trying to do her job, had to endure the ordeal in the first place. But credit should be given to the French Tennis Federation for acting decisively to denounce the 21-year-old tennis player’s behavior.
In the wake of the incident, Hamou also apologized on Facebook, writing, “I offer my deep 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.”