Australian Open tennis player scolded for asking ball girl to peel his banana

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/20/australian-open-tennis-player.html

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Well at first I thought “peel his banana” was a euphemism. So this is an improvement at least.

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@pesco on the page of the main article, if you click “comments” it just goes back to the article.

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Just look at it.

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Aren’t the ball kids there to sort of generally help out? I mean I guess this is a sort of odd request, but hardly an inappropriate one.

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I’m not sure I understand what the problem is. His fingers were taped, he asked for assistance. This seems to fall more under the category of asking someone for a favor than an outrageous demand. The fact that he ended up using his teeth suggests that he wasn’t just being lazy or asking someone to do a menial task that was “below him.” Am I missing something here?

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Maybe they don’t have bananas in Australia and the kid didn’t know what to do? That makes more sense than most of the other possibilities.

Um, I’m not seeing anything on his fingers that actually prevents him peeling a banana (just as there’s nothing like that preventing him from the various manual requirements of playing tennis either).

It may be that there’s a rule that these helpers are only supposed to be asked to help in certain specific ways – some other ways could be used to a player’s advantage. (What other ways? Well, I don’t know, but there may be some.)

Or, maybe the judge quickly surmised that “Hey girl, why don’t you come over here and peel my banana?” is too close to sexual innuendo for a girl, and the cameras, to put up with.

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Everybody knows you can’t have your cake peel your banana and eat look at it, too.

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I don’t know what happened there but it is conceivable to have your fingers messed up in a way to still allow you to grip a racket but make it difficult or painful to peel a banana.

It seems pretty reasonable to me, to limit the job to game equipment. Snacks would be a different union altogether.

FWIW, this morning CNN reports that the tennis player has offered more detail:

[emphasis mine]

'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.

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It’s all too easy to peel a banana without touching the part you’re going to eat.

Though I suppose it could be that the cream made his digits too slippery to do that?

Meh. I think I’ve spent enough time in the bottom of this particular barrel of internet monkey business.

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