Jeremy Flores Suspended For J-Bay Tantrum

posted by / News, WSL / July 18, 2014

Jeremy Flores during his post-heat, post-interference interview. He said in his next heat with Adriano he might thow some ‘bows. Photo: JimmicaneJeremy Flores is in the dog house for the next two events. Photo: Jimmicane

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

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  • Clouds in a jar

    Jeremy Flores Suspended For J-Bay Tantrum…

    As with a lot of pro athletes, Jeremy’s actions and insults
    come from an overly inflated ego. You can make all the excuses you want… IE
    “passion”… “Heart” or even.. “He cares”… This is shit talking though. In my opinion
    he’s lost touch with reality and you should expect more childish, self-absorbed
    rants in the future. A total loser in the “Good Sportsmanship” category. (What
    about the guy that won? huh?) I would have been insulted and probably banned for life
    after knocking his front teeth out… In my 40+ years of surfing, you get to see
    and hear all the meatheads out there that think their shit doesn’t stink.
    Go cry to your mommy you DICK!!

  • Collin

    I for one am quite tired of seeing and hearing Jeremy Flores tantrums. It was a very close heat he had with Seabass. Seabass won by the slightest of margins. Flores has been having a shocker of a year and all I’ve heard from him are excuses. First he says his boards aren’t working (I bet his shaper is stoked on him announcing his boards don’t work to millions of viewers). Then he runs into Adreano at the Snapper event, even though it was Adreano’s priority and he had every right to the wave, Flores threatened him during the post heat interview and said “next time I’m throwing bows”. And now this. He deserves to be fined and suspended. In fact I think he’s getting off pretty light. The ASP simply cannot have this unsportsmanlike behavior. Jeremy needs to grow up and realize how lucky he is, and that he needs the tour a heck of a lot more than the tour needs him.

  • Brad Spatz

    When someone is hit in the wallet for 6,000 bucks and suspended for 2 events they quickly will find there calm. He’ll grow up or find his self setting on the beach broke.

  • kyle

    If I have to hear another sport commentator make excuses for asshole behavior as “heart” i might just swallow the puke in my mouth. At least Jeremy admits he’s wrong. So should the author.

  • wyatt

    It’s really easy to sit back and condemn Jeremy from a distance. But if you armchair QBs would take a breath and put yourself in his shoes, you MIGHT emerge with a bit of empathy. Imagine if YOU had to be a young white male and get paid to travel the world, surfing perfect waves, drinking beer and sexing local women. What if you had to do all of that? How pissed off would you be? That’s right, you’d be plenty pissed.

    And for those of you who applaud the ASP for implementing and enforcing a code of conduct, let me remind you that our “sport” was founded on one very simple tenant: BE A BRO. Bro’ing and bro’ing others out is the CORE of who we are/what we do. He yells at someone…so what? Calm down ASP bros. He punches a dude…who cares? Calm down ASP bros. He joins Al-Qaeda in the Arab peninsula and plots large scale terrorist attacks against Western interests…big whoop! CALM DOWN ASP BROS.

    In short, JFlo does good surf turns and I think he’s friends with several prominent, mildly retarded Hawaiians, so LEAVE HIM ALONE. STOP UNJUSTLY PERSECUTING JEREMY FLORES!!!!!

  • Bobby

    Just surf better and you won’t be caught up in the split decision debacle…

  • G

    Losing all his heats this year when he is usually top 15….now throwing a tantrum like this….I hate to think it…hopefully someone helps him before he ends up like…..

  • Bretto

    I’m sorry, but loss of control in the form of an embarrassing public meltdown at one’s place of employment is not the best indicator of caring or passion. I think only the surf media would try to pull that one. Maybe the ASP should require JFlo to attend an anger management course while he’s away?
    I think JFlo is a great guy, awesome surfer and a real asset to the ASP who is obviously frustrated with how things are going. Tantrums happen and can be forgiven. Too bad his paid handler, Belly, wasn’t effective at deescalating the situation. The Commissioner would do well to take this as a learning opportunity and pursue training for himself and his staff so they’ll be better prepared for such situations in the future. No mistakes in life, only lessons.

  • Sean

    Yep, he’s definitely having a shocker year. But throwing a fit at this level of competition is pretty sad to see. It’s a bummer losing at that close of a margin but the judges can’t possibly know they’re doing it. The only person to blame is himself, maybe try surfing a little better. I honestly miss the Jeremy that used to rip CT events a few years back. Maybe there will be a new Flores in the coming years… Matt Banting? Are you him??

  • Dane

    They should fine him and let him compete “it is his job” and no work no pay.
    They are messing with the mans livelihood, the WQS doesn’t really matter, but the Tahiti pro, that could make or break his year..ahh whatever, I’m off to carry lumber all day !!

  • Janine

    I agree with Brendan; we need someone with passion in what he does! Those judges should be more understanding about the frustration he feels, I mean surely they are not such sissies as to be offended by a little passion. Fining him for being unsportsmanlike would have been sufficient, it wasn’t necessary to suspend him too!!

  • Donald Walton

    Having a tantrum like a two year old in no way equates having heart.

  • MV

    what the fuck does that even mean, “be more understanding”? what do you want them to do? the guy’s already popped-off a few times this year with his recent J Bay incident being the most explosive.

    air-brained chicks shouldn’t be able to post comments, the judges should NOT in any case “be more understanding about the frustration” any athlete feels at any time. that’s not their job.

  • MV

    “messing with the mans livelihood” ? are you kidding? these surfers live a fucking dream, no ones stopping any of them from going and getting a labor job.

    “make or break his year”? maybe he should’ve thought about his year before each time he’s blown up this year? the ASP break’s it down for these guy’s, just like other sports leagues, this type of behavior won’t get you far.

    no one likes to lose, and im all for punching a wall or two, but do that shit behind closed doors. have a word or two with the judges but don’t make a scene over it. the surfer with the most heart is the surfer that can lose repeatedly and still enjoy themselves.

  • MIk

    A few years ago, I encouraged one of the head of one of the major surf companies to consider signing Jeremy, because he is one of the top EU surfers, and the EU is an emerging major surf market… He responded by saying that he had just signed someone else who has emerged as a major title contender, but I felt justified in my opinion because Jeremy went forward and was a rising star. He still is. But I think he needs to adopt the friendly stoke he effused in his early years, and avoid trying to be in the same mental space as his Hawaiian friends. Hawaii is its own animal.

    The pack mentality doesn’t translate well to the ASP. Being fearless on the WCT doesn’t include not being afraid to punch someone. It means being prepared to charge in any kind of surf (which Jeremy did in his epoch heats at Teahupoo), and not being intimidated by who you surf against. Having said this, I think we need to understand another element of the frustration, and that is with the judging system, and fairness.

    Australia dominates the system. Clearly. They have the head judge and 1 other, Hawaii has 1, Brazil has 1. The USA has 0 (!!!) and EU also has 0. Those stats suck. and they suck most for the USA and EU because there’s no-one on board to keep things balanced. So this may factor into Jeremy’s tantrum. I’m not saying he beat Seabass, because I think that Seabass’ turns were all more radical. Jeremy was on bigger waves, but his top turns were all projecting forward to keep down the line speed, while Seabass was more vert and blowing fins out…

    But the current judging balance means the Aussies can manipulate the outcome at will. So I’m calling them out on it too:

    To Richie Porta and Pritamo Ahrendt: one of you needs to go, and be replaced by Mike Parsons. And then a French judge needs to be added. Until then, the ASP judging concept is flat out a joke.

    I’m not excusing Jeremy’s behavior. It was lame. But so is the current judging system.

  • MIk

    Epic, not epoch

  • chris Ward

    Everyone need to just chill out and realize that surfing and competing is an emotional sport and that he is human.The sport needs this kind out stuff otherwise it may get real boring? So just because he showing emotion he gets fined and suspended come on give the guy a break he’s a good guy and really good surfer

  • refrus

    Yes, the sport of surfing needs all types to stay interesting, Suspending Jeremy or potentially ending his professional career is narrowing the sport of surfing. Luckily the act of surfing isn’t always a sport and doesn’t need to be controlled and defined. You can be as human as you want. But for all of those who are not getting paid to surf or are in the surf industry, I say death to the sport of surfing and the surfing industry. Surfboard builders and maybe wetsuit makers are the only people who should get paid. But we’ll all be tuned into the webcast if the waves are good because we like watching surfing when we aren’t surfing. Time for the dark ages of surfing and thinning crowds. .

  • Kolohe Moore


  • Frank Underwood

    I am just bored by the ASP, we need Wardo or a Lightfoot or someone, some darkhorse to root for. Or an underground character. Not some rich reunion island euro french dude. Who cares? Does one kid grinding away pounding nails care? Does some working stiff with two kids, care? Is he going to tune into your live broadcast to watch Jflo? Who cares about Jflo? (worst nickname ever). Seabass is a darkhorse, I am stoked he won, maybe some underground will get a wildcard now? Some carpenter from the gold coast…..some cable guy from Ventura. Please, someone to break up the monotony that is the asp.

  • slambresi

    exactly! throw the word “passion” in there as well…

  • slambresi

    All good points, especially the one about Belly – he could have grabbed him as he got out of the water and calmed him down and possibly prevented the tantrum. Jeremy lost his cool like many pro athlete’s do – think about MLB managers and how they act when they don’t like the umpire’s calling of balls and strikes, or a cornerback getting called for pass interference. Grown men kicking dirt, and freaking out, and looking ridiculous. To be fined or suspended in baseball of football, a player can shrug it off because they play team sports and others can step up in their absence. With the pro surfing tour, you are out there as an individual and you have to accumulate points all year to remain at the “elite” level. This punishment is pretty harsh IMO.

  • Duder

    Cant we all agree to reserve the word passion to be used to passive aggressively insult brazilians? Also did wardo really post here

  • Duder

    What an idiot. Now he’s got himself suspended from the wave he surfs the best. I really enjoy Jeremy surfing Chopes- he’s without a doubt one of the best out there. Year after year he’s made freakishly vertical drops looks easy and stylish on that wave. This suspension has almost guaranteed him not qualifying for the world tour again. What a dumb way to get yourself kicked off tour. Especially after a heat against Seabass- who surfs incredible and would have probably beat Jeremy no matter what. He’s also furthering french stereotypes and doing a super poor job representing his country. Really a bummer he’s got himself kicked out of Tahiti- I mean seriously dude- WTF, act like a pro.

  • Karl

    Really great argument. So great in fact, I’m gonna forward it to every cyclist, snowboarder, golfer, gymnast, weightlifter and tennis player who’s ever been suspended for wanton destruction and relentless sobbing mid-content.

  • Bretto

    As someone who has worked with kids for many years and mentored young adults, this topic really interests me. I believe the Skipper Meltdowns in MLB are a different animal all together. Those acts are really not spontaneous, but rather ‘permitted’ within the cultural context of the game. You can actually predict when they will occur, everybody expects them (curiously, the phenomenon is absent from most other sports); similar to fighting in hockey: its not part of the official rules, but so common it is very much part of the ‘game’. AI’s handlers dropped the ball, too. Believe me, these guys know the personalities, habits and triggers of these athletes but seem to lack the necessary skills, training and will to anticipate and diffuse volatile situations. No doubt, veteran competitors with strong leadership qualities have filled this role in past instances, and the viewers were none the wiser.

  • Bretto

    Great insight and points, Mlk, but as Matt Johnson of the The said: ” if you can’t change the world, change yourself’. Many people in the industry/sport have been very effective (and patient) in identifying said issues and working to change them. In the meantime volatile personalities beware! All of us experience the unfairness of our chosen paths, but the difference is in our response. As someone who has worked as a mental health counselor in group homes and juvenile hall, I can attest that not all violent offenders are gangsters or psychopaths, but regular folks who lack the coping skills to constructively deal with the ‘inevitable realities of their lives’. Anger management is one of the most overlooked skills in our society. This trend of cloaking it with ‘passion’ is troubling.

  • Bretto

    May I suggest reality tv or WWF? The genre of ‘trash tv’ is specifically scripted and marketed to address these very same themes.

  • Gnarrrrr

    Constepated monkey kook surfer dickhead Agro French duechbag

  • Frank Underwood

    But I am a fan of surfing, not wrestling. Bretto, don’t you wanna see some wildcard win? just once?

  • slambresi

    Good stuff.
    Bottom line is that the judging is subjective as opposed to objective. Those 5 judges took a lot of time to decide Jeremy’s score which means the head judge was recapping and giving his biased view of the wave and comparing it to others in the heat. Jeremy took it as a personal attack rather than what is supposed to be an unbiased, subjective score. (I personally thought he won the heat after watching it a few times on the analyzer).

  • slambresi

    Ha classic! I won’t dare entertain a tennis comparison for fear that Bobby Martinez reads this….

  • EWL

    Stop hanging with Sunny. The 80’s are over, surfers are considered actually athletes now that kids look up to. And don’t get me wrong I love Sunny but he has even figured out that anger and beating someone down isn’t the best way to progress in life.

  • Bretto

    I agree. But as Bobby Martinez so eloquently pointed out in his public unraveling, “…this isn’t *#@ tennis.” These guys have submitted themselves to subjective judging by contest judges, peers, photogs and industry types since before they had pubes! Every last one of em have gladly sacrificed their true individuality to make their expression of wave riding conform to a criterion, let their sponsor dress and shape their image in exchange for validation in the way of stickers on their boards, team trips, trophies. Being told what to surf, how, where…Eventually they crack. Curren and Machado arguably did it with more dignity. At times like these, Jeremy and all pro athletes need a reality check: sports is entertainment, I’m an entertainer, I’m not saving lives of advancing society, my place in society is to divert the attention of the masses from their own problems. Occassionally, they take themselves too seriously, like an actor who can’t get out of character.

  • Bretto

    Yeah, Frank, I do too. I just think they’ve gone the way of the Dodo. I actually think JFlo’s heritage and Nationality are an asset. ASP has been pretty homogenous; Aussie/Cali/Florida/Hawai’i domination doesn’t cut it these days. Besides, JFlo’s heroic performance at Chopes was by far one of the most impressive I’ve seen in a while… and got me on his bandwaggon. Seabass is a star in the making with great X-factor. ASP is not exactly about ‘underground characters’ anymore. At the WCT level, it’s very tough to sneak up on anyone, except for maybe Dion, but he’s been slogging it on the ‘QS for ages. If you’re looking for rebel types (Wardo), the qualifying system effectively weeds them out. I appreciate your comments, but find them ironic in that since the late 70’s, the industry has worked so hard to clean up the ubiquitous druggie, draft dodger, dole bludger rebel element in the ‘sport’ so it would be embraced by soccer moms and PE coaches. Every last one of the top 34 are a product of this cultural shift. Hurley/Abercrombie is here to stay.. for a while, at least. Embrace it.

  • Indosoul

    Wow…six grand fine…! Ouch.
    Every pro has probably been on the wrong end of a heat decision…and all of them will think they really did better.. BUT they were NEVER watching their competitor’s peroformance…the judges sure were though!
    Take the decision. be a man. do better next time….or you’ll pay dearly…!