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A reporter has called out the runner who smacked her butt during a live broadcast of a Georgia race after a clip of the incident went viral on social media.
Alex Bozarjian of WSAV News 3 in Savannah, Georgia, was covering the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run when the man hit her behind. Twitter user @GrrrlZilla shared a clip of the incident to Twitter on Saturday that has since gone viral.
“We watch @WSAV in our house every single morning,” the user wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Their staff is like extended family to us. I’m furious about this.”
Bozarjian shared the 16-second clip, which starts with her enthusiastically reporting on the run. As runners pass her, some wave at the camera or interact with Bozarjian (without physically touching her).
A middle-aged man in blue shirt and sunglasses is then seen coming up from behind and smacking her butt. Bozarjian appears visibly disturbed for a few seconds before continuing her broadcast.
To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better. https://t.co/PRLXkBY5hn— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) December 7, 2019
“To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me,” Bozarjian wrote. “No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!!”
Rob Wells, director of the Savannah Sports Council, said on Saturday the incident “will not be tolerated.”
“Glad we have race bibs and photos for easy identification,” he wrote.
This will not be tolerated at our events. Glad we have race bibs and photos for easy identification. https://t.co/RwSHItW04v— Robert Wells (@RobWells1) December 7, 2019
On Twitter, many have shared the name, photos, and social media profiles for one man, but the Daily Dot could not independently if the profiles belonged to the man in the video. On Sunday, the Savannah Sports Council condemned the action in a series of tweets and said officials have identified the runner.
“We have made the decision to ban this individual from registering for all Savannah Sports Council owned races,” the council said in a tweet thread and identical statement to the Daily Dot.
(2/4) Our title sponsor, Enmarket and the Savannah Sports Council take this matter extremely seriously and fully condemn this individual’s actions.— SAV Sports Council (@SavannahSports) December 8, 2019
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque