French Open 2013: A Place For Tennis and….Protesting Against Same-Sex Marriage?
Rafael Nadal’s victory in the 2013 French Open on Sunday, June 9 over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer was surely a tennis match with an interesting twist. The match was briefly interrupted when a shirtless protester carrying an ignited flare ran onto the court near Nadal and began trying to escape security, who quickly tackled the protester to the ground. The protesters were part of the group Printemps Francais, or French Spring, who initiated the incident due to their opposition to the French government’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage last month.
This is not the first time incidents like this have occurred at tennis matches; however, the uneasiness still remains for those present. For instance, Nadal later stated that he was startled by the incident and although security did a great job in handling the situation quickly, a man with fire is still something to worry about. On a different note, the whole reason behind the protest was on the issue of same-sex marriage in France. Not everyone has agreed with the decision to legalize same-sex marriage, so what better way to protest than at the 2013 French Open, where it would be caught on camera and seen by thousands of spectators? This is probably the reasoning behind the act in the first place.
Same-sex marriage has been an ongoing issue for a while now and while there have been oppositions to it, some countries have managed to overcome this. With France being the 13th country to legalize gay marriage, it comes as no surprise that protestors would campaign against this decision; however, with the decision already final, there is not much protestors like those that appeared at the 2013 French Open can do to change it. Voicing their opinions as they are entitled to is something that can be expected but doing it during a tennis match is certainly a new one for me.
Thankfully, no one was injured doing the fiasco and those involved were quickly apprehended. Rafael Nadal went on to win his eighth Grand Slam Title for the French Open, but there is no doubt that viewers will remember the match for another reason, as well.
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