The Czech Embassy in Washington defended a young Czech tennis player whose father and coach patted her backside at the US Open.
Sara Bejlek, 16, has already made a name for herself at the US Open thanks to an awkward video that has gone viral of her coach and father patting her butt at the game.
As the cameras lingered, both men were seen patting her on the backside with her father seemingly kissing her on the mouth, which has caused massive outrage across the US.
The tennis player defended the action, saying it was ‘normal’ in her country.
‘Dad is my dad and always will be. And I’ve known the coach since I was eight years old. He tapes me, he massages me,’ she added.
‘If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, no one would deal with it. But since we are in America, everyone comments on it.’
La célébration de Sara Bejlek (16 ans) après sa qualif pour le tableau principal enflamme les réseaux sociaux à travers le monde. Il s’agit de son père et de son coach. pic.twitter.com/zfhFgRGbql
— Tennis Break News (@tennisbreaknews) August 27, 2022
A representative from the Czech Embassy in Washington DC told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that this seemingly outrageous moment ‘hasn’t been an issue in the Czech media at all.’
‘It’s a personal issue, each family would be different,’ the representative told DailyMail.com. ‘It differs from family to family.’
Although the embassy could not directly comment on the whether or not butt patting was a cultural commonality in the Czech Republic, the young tennis player has already said she wouldn’t do it again after receiving backlash.
‘It was a spontaneous reaction of the whole team. We rejoiced,’ Bejlek said to reporters.
‘It may certainly seem inconvenient and uncomfortable to some, but we have already discussed it with the team. It won’t happen again.’
While that incident occurred during her first qualifying match, it gained traction just before she took on the world No. 35 player Liudmila Samsonova of Russia.
She lost that match in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
The 16-year-old Czech qualified for her first Grand Slam tournament by defeating a number of opponents last week, including an impressive win over the UK’s Heather Watson.