Time to state the obvious: French runner Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad has some serious behavioral issues. You'd think that after winning the 3,000-meter Steeplechase race, you'd be hooting and hollering and hugging everyone in sight. Nope, that's definitely not the case here.
Instead, the 27-year-old Algerian-born runner, after finishing the race at the European Athletic Championships in Helsinki on Friday, walked over to a 14-year-old girl dressed as the championship’s mascot, "Appy," who was trying to give him a prize. Instead of giving her a high-five or taking the prize graciously, he proceeded to knock the gift bag out of her hand and give her a violent shove.
WTF dude? This is the age of YouTube. Of course it's all on video.
The quick 30-second video (with some dramatic slow-motion replays) speaks for itself:
And believe it or not, this isn't the first time Mahiedine has bullied a mascot. What the heck this guy has against mascots ... only a therapist would probably be able to find out. According to NBC News, when he won the same race back in 2010 in Barcelona, he reportedly asked a mascot to kneel down in front of him before pushing it to the ground!
Errr, pretty sure that's assault, brotha. What is up with this guy? Why does he have so much hatred against indefensible mascots? He probably didn't know the mascot on Friday was a 14-year-old girl (at least I really hope he didn't) ... but that doesn't make that much of a difference to me. Luckily, the girl is reportedly okay.
It's pretty pathetic and mind-boggling that a grown man would resort to such behavior. He should be banned from competing ever again in my opinion. And given some intense anger management lessons.
What do you think should happen to this runner?
Image via GurlzClub/YouTube