Is This Man the Luis Suarez of Surfing?

The Jeremy Flores 'incident' has seen him banned from the pro tour

Jeremy Flores Jeffreys Bay Open 2014
Jeremy Flores in action at Jeffreys Bay, the contest where it all kicked off. Photo: ASP

The world of professional surfing is not generally a place where fights break out. If pros lose a contest or a heat on the ASP World Tour circuit, they’re usually pretty chilled about it. After all, they’re mellow surf dudes and hey, they all get to surf for a living – it can’t suck that much right?

All that went out the window last week however, and yesterday ASP officials took the highly unusual step banning one of the world’s top surfers, Jeremy Flores, from competition for a whole month. So what had he done to merit this Luis Suarez style injunction?

“The official statement was fairly vague mentioning just “unsportsmanlike” behaviour…”

Well, the official statement was fairly vague (mentioning just “unsportsmanlike” behaviour) but it seems that Jeremy, feeling more than a bit miffed at the score he was given, ran into the judges’ tower and gave them a piece of his mind.

Some witnesses claim there was just an angry throw of the surfboard and a lot of heated words exchanged. But head judge Richie Porta told our sister site Surf Europe that the “assault” was not just verbal but “also physical [and] it could have turned into a fight.”

It seems Frenchman Flores has previous when it comes to fighting as well, having been accused of beating up a local surfer in Australia back in 2011.

Remind you of anyone?

suarez1

If the comments of “anonymous officials” and surf fans under some of the news reports are to be believed, there are a few people who feel that Flores’ behaviour (like Suarez’) is far from a one-off.

Comments underneath an article on Stab Magazine were less than complementary...
Comments underneath an article on Stab Magazine were less than complementary…

To be fair to Jeremy, it seems that he was relatively quick to apologise. And while some news sources were speculating that the incident may see him relegated to the second-rank Qualification tour next year, it seems the ban the ASP have issued is short enough so that this won’t necessarily be the case.

It will however mean him missing next month’s contest in Tahiti. But let’s hope he comes back strongly enough (and plays cleanly enough) in the remaining contests of the season to keep himself in the top flight.

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