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The Czech embassy is defending the father and coach of a young tennis player for slapping her bum at the US Open

‘It’s a personal thing, every family is different’: The Czech embassy defends the father and coach of a young tennis player for slapping her on the bottom at the US Open

  • Czech tennis player Sara Bejlek received backlash after a video of her father and coach patting her bottom at the US Open
  • The video drew criticism in the US, but Bejlek said the video wouldn’t be a fuss in the Czech Republic
  • The Czech embassy in Washington DC told DailyMail.com that butt tapping is a “personal issue” and “varies from family to family”.
  • “This was not an issue in the Czech media at all,” an embassy representative told DailyMail.com
  • Despite the lack of outrage in the Czech Republic. Bejlek said she would not do it again
  • Bejlek qualified for her first tennis major, falling in straight sets in the first round

The Embassy defended a young Czech tennis player whose father and coach slapped her on the bottom at the US Open.

Sara Bejlek, 16, has already made a name for herself thanks to the US Open to an embarrassing video that has gone viral of her coach and dad patting her bottom as she plays.

As cameras lingered, both men were seen patting her bottom while her father appeared to kiss her on the mouth, prompting 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 picks me up, he massages me,” she added.

“If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, nobody would care. But since we’re in America, everyone comments.’

A representative from the Czech embassy in Washington DC told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that the seemingly outrageous moment “was not covered at all by the Czech media”.

“It’s a personal issue, every family would be different,” the representative told DailyMail.com. “It varies from family to family.”

After the win, Sara Bejlek celebrated with her father Jaroslav, who seemed to slap her on the bottom after her win

After the win, Sara Bejlek celebrated with her father Jaroslav, who seemed to slap her on the bottom after her win

US viewers were outraged at the moment, but the tennis player said the moment was

US viewers were outraged at the moment, but the tennis player said the moment was “normal” in her country.

“If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, nobody would care. But since we're in America, everyone comments,

“If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, nobody would care. But since we’re in America, everyone comments,” she said of the moment

Coach Jakub Kahoun also grabbed her bum as the pair hugged after the win

Coach Jakub Kahoun also grabbed her bum as the pair hugged after the win

The Czech embassy in Washington DC (pictured) told DailyMail.com that

The Czech embassy in Washington DC (pictured) told DailyMail.com that “this hasn’t been an issue in the Czech media at all” and that butt stroking “differs from family to family” and is a “personal issue “ act.

Although the embassy could not comment directly on whether or not butt slapping is a cultural commonality in the Czech Republic, the young tennis player has previously said she would not do it again after receiving backlash.

“It was a spontaneous reaction from the entire team. We were happy,” Bejlek told reporters.

“It may certainly seem uncomfortable and inconvenient to some, but we have already discussed it with the team. It will not happen again.’

While this incident happened during her first qualifier, it gained prominence just before she faced world No. 35 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 beating a string of opponents last week, including an impressive victory over Britain’s Heather Watson.

The 16-year-old is pictured on Instagram alongside her father (right) and her trainer (below).

The 16-year-old is pictured on Instagram alongside her father (right) and her trainer (below).

Bejlek made her US Open debut on Monday against Ludmilla Samsanova of Russia

Bejlek made her US Open debut on Monday against Ludmilla Samsanova of Russia

After her qualification victory, 16-year-old Bejlek posted a picture on Instagram next to her father

After her qualification victory, 16-year-old Bejlek posted a picture on Instagram next to her father

How slapping on the ass and even flogging are seen differently by Czechs

Many may see the ‘butt slapping’ of 16-year-old Sara Bejlek’s father and coach after her overwhelming victory over Brit Heather Watson as a step too far.

However, in the Czech Republic – and other Central and Eastern European countries – a pat on the bottom is a common sign of affection.

While you wouldn’t greet a stranger with a slap on the back, between family members or close friends it’s a way of congratulating, greeting, or being a gesture of good luck—much like patting someone on the back.

And while it may be frowned upon in some countries, it’s not considered uncommon for the men in a family – like fathers or uncles – to pat the younger women’s butts.

This is taken even further each Easter with the “Pomlázka” or Easter Whip tradition, practiced in the Czech Republic but also in Slovakia and some parts of Hungary.

Pictured: A man uses a willow branch to'whip' a woman in the tradition of Pomlázka, celebrated at Easter in central and eastern European countries - like the Czech Republic

Pictured: A man uses a willow branch to ‘whip’ a woman in the tradition of Pomlázka, celebrated at Easter in central and eastern European countries – like the Czech Republic

Traditionally, on Easter Monday morning, men go from house to house and beat up local women with a special hand-made whip or crop made of branches of wood (e.g. willow) decorated with colored ribbons.

Women, on the other hand, traditionally wore long dresses as protection from the pomlázka—although jeans are now the preferred choice.

The tradition also includes songs about eggs, spring, bounty and fertility. Tradition holds that women should be whipped to preserve their health, beauty and fertility in the following year.

In return, women give the men decorated hard-boiled eggs and a shot of strong alcohol (such as Slivovice or plum brandy).

A 2019 survey found that 60 percent of Czech households keep the tradition, which dates back to the 14th century.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11166379/Czech-embassy-defends-young-tennis-players-father-coach-patting-backside-Open.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The Czech embassy is defending the father and coach of a young tennis player for slapping her bum at the US Open

Bradford Betz

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