Year of the Slap: Tennis Player Smacks Opponent After Defeat, Who’s Next?

Who said movie stars can’t be good role models? Case in point, we have now entered the Year of the Slap thanks to the Oscars glamorizing a hand gesture that was heretofore strictly reserved for starting a duel.

Like a game of telephone, The Slap has begun moving about the globe, inspiring at least one tennis player in Ghana to smack his opponent after losing a three-set match. The kicker? The slap-happy palm gamer was only 15 years old.

The incident happened during the ITF juniors tournament in Accra when top-seeded Michael Kouame lost to Raphael Nii in the first round. After the match, the youngsters met at halfcourt to shake hands, when Kouame added some extra mustard on the handshake with a left-hand caress.

And the crowd went wild.

Which begs the question: Does the prospect of a gotcha slap make tennis more interesting? Can that magic be translated to other clubhouse sports like golf and curling? Or does the popularization of buccal spanking undermine the importance of real athletes à la the beefcakes of slap fighting?

But we digress.

Chaos erupted in the wake of the tennis slap, proving just how easily one small palm cuddle can have a ripple effect of violence. (Not that sports fans need much coaxing to enter an impromptu melee.) With the Year of Slap in full swing, the only question now is: Who’s next?

Cover Photo: Twitter