French tennis player Elliot Benchetrit received a lot of negative attention on social media after a clip of him with a ball girl went viral.
In said clip, taken from his win over Dmitry Popko on Saturday, Benchetrit asks the ball girl to peel a banana for him. The tennis umpire, John Blom, apparently tells him to peel it himself. It appears as if the two have a brief back-and-forth before Benchetrit eventually just peels it himself.
So this is the moment where Elliot Benchetrit asks the ballkid to peel his banana. I’m glad the umpire (John Blom) stepped in and told him off. pic.twitter.com/TK1GET68pG— Alex Theodoridis (@AlexTheodorid1s) January 19, 2020
Several users on social media reacted to the clip with one saying, "Too right. She's not a servant. She's there to do a job. He looked shocked when he was told to do it himself. Whattttt, peel it myself?!" There were plenty of other comments made in a similar fashion.
Among them was Australian TV host Karl Stefanovic, who called the act "disgusting."
“That is pretty rank isn’t it, asking a ball girl to peel a banana?” Stefanovic said on the Today Show. “Asking a ball person to do that is disgusting. I think it’s terrible.”
Benchetrit. after seeing most of the feedback, had a simple explanation for the interaction.
"At 6-5 in the final set, during the changeover, I asked the ball girl to peel the banana for me as I had put some cream on my hands in order not to sweat," he said. "She had done it once before at the beginning of the match. But the second time the chair umpire stepped in and told me that the ball girl was not my slave and I had to peel the banana myself. I could not believe that the umpire said that and I find incredible how this situation got out of control on social media without people knowing what really happened on court."
Benchetrit was defeated by Yuichi Sugita on Tuesday.