A teenage tennis player was caught on video slapping his opponent's face after losing a match Monday in Ghana, sparking a scuffle involving numerous people just off the court.
The slap also drew comparisons to actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock across the face during the Academy Awards ceremony late last month.
What are the details?
Michael Kouame of France lost to Raphael Nii Ankrah in three sets (2-6, 7-6, 6-7) in the first round of an International Tennis Federation juniors tournament in Accra, Fox Sports Australia reported.
Video shows Kouame getting to the net first and extending his right hand to Ankrah — but after the pair clasped hands, Kouame fired away with a left-handed slap to Ankrah's face, which was clearly audible on the clip. A second video shows a scuffle involving numerous people just off the court following the slap:
Fox Sports Australia said it wasn't clear why Kouame attacked his opponent. There didn't appear to be any report on possible repercussions for Kouame.
The outlet added that Kouame was the No. 1 seed heading into the hard-court tournament; he's ranked 589th among ITF junior players. Ankrah is scheduled to go up against fellow Ghana player Ishmael Nii Nortey Dowuona in the second round, Fox Sports Australia said.
Will Smith-Chris Rock comparisons
As the whole world knows now, Smith slapped Rock at the Oscars after the comedian made a lack-of-hair joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia — an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.
Kouame's slap drew numerous comparisons to Smith slapping Rock:
- Essentially Sports noted in its headline that Kouame slapped Ankrah "exactly like Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars."
- The Sun noted in its piece that Kouame channeled his "inner Will Smith."
- TMZ Sports said Kouame "did his best Will Smith impression" with the slap.
You get the idea.
Minutes after Smith slapped Rock, the actor won best actor and gave an apologetic acceptance speech that didn't include an apology to Rock. The next day Smith apologized to Rock on Instagram. Later in the week Smith resigned from the Academy, which is expected to announce discipline for Smith next week.