Cyclist Peter Sagan apologized after being criticized for pinching the rear of a girl on the podium following his second-place finish in the Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday.
Sagan finished second to winner Fabian Cancellara, who received a peck on the cheek from the trophy ladies after the race. That’s when Sagan reached over to pinch blond “podium girl” Maya.
After the photograph was publicized, Sagan began receiving criticism. The Independent has a roundup of the criticism, which came from journalists and cyclists.
“Shame that Peter Sagan has so much class on a bike and so very little off it,” cyclist Michael Hutchinson wrote while linking to a photo of the pinch.
Sagan, a 23-year-old from Slovakia, sent the following tweet Sunday to apologize:
Was not my intention todisrespect women today on the podium. Just a joke, sorry if someone was disturbed about it.
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) March 31, 2013
Sagan must have continued to be faced with outrage, because he recorded an apology and uploaded it to his Facebook page Monday:
“It was wrong of me and I don’t thinking when I was on the podium,” Sagan said in the video. “I never should have done it. I am so sorry and I hope Maya and anyone else I have offended knows how sorry I am and accepts my apology. I promise to act more respectfully in the future.”
Tony Stewart faced some outrage after doing something similar to a fellow driver’s wife last year. As many have pointed out, what Sagan did would be considered sexual harassment in the workplace. Just because someone is there for eye candy doesn’t make it acceptable to treat them like they’re objects. Sagan is now learning that.Google+