A history of athletes being innapropriate with female reporters
French officials banned Maxime Hamou from Roland Garros this week following an interview with reporter Maly Thomas in which the tennis player put his arm around Thomas and repeatedly kissed her. Unfortunately, it was not the first time an athlete inappropriately harassed a reporter. A quick walk down memory lane shows that female reporters are not always treated with respect. Here's a look at past incidents:
Joe Namath and Suzy Kolber
Speaking with Suzy Kolber in one of the most uncomfortable sideline interviews in sports television history, a visibly intoxicated Joe Namath stumbled his way through an answer about then-Jet quarterback Chad Pennington before leaning in toward Kolber. “I want to kiss you,” Broadway Joe told her, and moments later let out a “yeah!” To the unflappable Kolber’s credit, she took the untoward overture in stride, politely thanking Namath and drawing the interview to a close.
Chris Gayle and Mel McLaughlin
In another case of sideline sexual harassment, cricket player Chris Gayle responded to interviewer Mel McLaughlin’s questions about cricket by changing the subject to her eyes and asking her to get a drink with him after the game. McLaughlin managed to get an actual answer out of Gayle about his health before ending the interview. “I don’t think that’s appropriate,” one of the booth announcers said of Gayle’s conduct following the interview. No kidding.
Rampage Jackson and Heather Nichols
UFC's Quinton "Rampage" Jackson got a little too touchy-feely with reporter Heather Nichols during a 2009 interview. At first, she laughed it off but you can see how truly uncomfortable she is as the interview drags on.
Rampage Jackson and Japanese Reporter
Get used to seeing Rampage Jackson on this list. In this 2009 interview with an unidentified Japanese reporter, Rampage gets on all fours and starts simulating a sex act before barking at her. She looks terrifed.
Rampage Jackson and Karyn Bryant
Following his UFC 130 victory over Matt Hamill, Rampage was interviewed by MMAHeat's Karyn Bryant. The conversation appeared to be going well until the very end, when Rampage tells Bryant that she's "Jamaican me horny" after she tells him she's part black, white and Jamaican.
Rey Maualuga and Erin Andrews
Sideline reporters aren’t merely subject to harassment during interviews, as this video of USC’s Rey Maualuga walking up behind Erin Andrews in 2008 and dancing suggestively behind her. Following the incident, USC issued a statement that said Mauluga had apologized to Andrews.
Pita Taufatofua, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager
It's not only women who can find themselves subject to uncomfortable interviews, as this interview with taekwondo competitor Pita Taufatofua shows. The interview on Today, which drew criticism on social media, involved quite a bit of touching of the Tonga flag-bearer at the 2016 Summer Olympics.