French tennis player Maxime Hamou has been banned from the remainder of the 2017 French Open after he groped and attempted to kiss a female television reporter during a live interview Sunday.
The incident reminds U.S. sports fans of the time in 2003 when an inebriated Joe Namath put the “moves” on ESPN’s Suzy Kolber while she interviewed him on the sidelines of Patriots-Jets game.
Check out Hamou’s interview with Eurosport’s Maly Thomas after his first-round loss to Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas at Roland Garros (h/t Bleacher Report).
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 30, 2017
Thomas could not have been more obvious that she was not interested – at least as long as they were live om camera – but Hamou didn’t give up easily, now did he?
Thomas was pretty pissed, telling Huffington Post France the incident was “frankly unpleasant.”
“If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him,” Thomas said.
It also didn’t go over well with the French Tennis Federation.
“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 (via The Guardian).
Hamou regrets the whole thing. He’s 21, horny and sorry.
“I want to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview,” Hamou told French newspaper l’Equipe (via The Guardian). “I just lived a wonderful week here in Roland Garros living my most beautiful emotions as a tennis player, and I let my overflow of enthusiasm express myself awkwardly towards Maly, who I know and sincerely respect. Nothing of all that is written was my intention.”
He went on to say that he would like to say sorry face to face.
“I am at her disposal to apologize to her in person if she so wishes,” Hamou said. “I learn every day from my mistakes to become a better tennis player and a better person.”
Now, to refresh your memory, here’s Namath trying to kiss Suzy.