Being a woman in a male-dominated field such as sports journalism is already hard as it is. There are the endless sexist jabs, the doubts that you can do your job well just because of your gender, and even the horrible harassment from so-called fans. And now, you can add athletes' attempts to kiss you on live TV without consent to that list of awful conditions.
On Monday, tennis player Maxime Hamou repeatedly tried to kiss Eurosport reporter Maly Thomas while she was interviewing him at the French Open. The reporter was trying to talk with the 21-year-old athlete after his first-round loss to Argentinian tennis player Pablo Cuevas, but instead of answering her questions, Hamou thew his arm around Thomas and tried multiple times to plant a kiss on her as she ducked.
Thomas has better self-control than this reporter, who would have probably shoved Hamou away and yelled at him in Spanish ¡¿Qué carajos haces?! ("What the fuck are you doing?!").
To make things worse, Thomas' male coworkers at Avantage Leconte were laughing their asses off while Hamou kissed her without her consent. (Of course they did.) But even as she kept her composure and a smile on her face through the whole ordeal, the Eurosport reporter didn't find being sexually harassed funny in the least.
"If it had not been live on air, I would have punched him," Thomas told Huffington Post France. She also described the incident as "frankly unpleasant."
"These situations are trivialized and should not be," she added.
Hell no, they shouldn't. Even though Hamou has apologized, the organizers of the French Open banned him from the tournament. To which we say: good riddance.
Dear male athletes out there in the world, just don't be an asshole and kiss female reporters without their permission. If being a good human being and respecting women is not reason enough, maybe the fear of getting kicked out of your tournament will serve as a chastity belt.
Now, keep your hands and slobber to yourself. Thank you.