Call it “The Will Smith Effect.” 

On Monday, video surfaced of 15-year-old French tennis player Michael Kouame slapping his opponent after a match. Kouame was playing Raphael Nii Ankrah in the International Tennis Federation’s juniors tournament in Ghana. 

In another video, it appears that a brawl was on the verge of breaking out on the court following the slap. 

According to Fox News, Kouame apologized for his actions in an Instagram post on Wednesday. 

“I sincerely regret my actions on Tuesday at the ITF Tournament in Ghana against Raphael Nii Ankrah. I regretfully struck him after an extremely frustrating and intense match,” Kouame wrote.

“During the course of the match, I was repeatedly verbally abused by a large number of individuals in the crowd, including insults to my mother in particular. However, that does not excuse my behavior,” Kouame continued. “I would like to publicly apologize to Raphael. I was wrong and completely out of line.”

“I accept any consequences as a result of my behavior from the ITF governing body, and will use this time to reflect on how I can better manage challenging situations like these in the future in a manner that accurately reflect my character,” he added. 

Men slapping each other is apparently en vogue after Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars. Smith smacked Rock in the face at the 2022 Oscars, after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, referencing her shaved head. 

Smith later apologized for the slap, announcing that he will resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” the 53-year-old actor shared in a statement, reported Deadline.

“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he added. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris [Rock], his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy.”

“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work,” Smith continued. “I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film. So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

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