The building shook. A crowd gathered. A voice screamed. Jeremy Flores just lost a Round 2 heat to Sebastian Zietz by a lowly .14 points. “Are you fucking kidding me? This is my job! You think it’s funny?” With all the anger of France in his voice, Jeremy berated the judging panel at the 2014 J-Bay Open. The yelling continues and his fist slams into the wall. Another big thud and the crowd is officially stunned. Some say the fist Jeremy threw was aimed at a face. Others say it was a primal gesture aimed only at getting his point across. Either way, it was a costly punch.
The ASP just released the following statement:
ASP Top 34 surfer, Jeremy Flores, has been suspended from competition until August 27, 2014, resulting from an incident which occurred following his Round 2 heat at the J-Bay Open in South Africa on July 12, 2014.
The incident involved the athlete confronting ASP officials and event staff in an unsportsmanlike manner and resulted in the Rules and Disciplinary Committee, after completing its investigation, fining the surfer US$6,000 and suspending him from ASP competitions until August 27, 2014. As a result, Flores is ineligible to compete in both the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach (an ASP Prime QS event) and the Billabong Pro Tahiti (an ASP WCT event).
Flores has apologized, both in writing and in-person, to the ASP officials involved and will be eligible to return to competition at the completion of his suspension and in time for the Hurley Pro at Trestles from September 9 – 20, 2014. Flores has told ASP officials that he accepts full responsibility for his actions and that he will not be contesting the suspension or fine.
Ouch. Jeremy’s had a lackluster year and Tahiti could very well have been the tube pig’s saving grace. As unprofessional as his actions were, there is something vaguely admirable about them. At least you know that Jeremy cares and that’s far better than a Top 34 spot being occupied by somebody pshh whatevers every loss. The tour needs passion. The tour needs heart. And Jeremy Flores plays with heart — it’s just that he won’t be playing with it in Tahiti or Huntington. —Brendan Buckley