Protester with flare interrupts French Open final
By CNN Staff
(CNN) — The French Open men’s final was interrupted Sunday when a shirtless man ran onto the court wearing a white mask and carrying a burning flare.
He ran onto the side of the court that Rafael Nadal was playing on. An official quickly removed him while another held onto Nadal.
A small fire broke out behind behind the boards near the court and white smoke filled the air for several minutes before the flames were doused.
A second shirtless man was hustled away before he could make it onto the court.
A photograph taken by Getty Images at the stadium at Roland Garros shows five men, who unfurled a homemade banner that calls for the resignation of Francois Hollande, the president of France. Four of the men hold flares.
CNN affiliate BFM reported the men were part of a group called Printemps Français, or French Spring. The group is opposed to same-sex marriage, which became law in France in May, BFM reported.
The legislation has prompted fierce opposition from many social conservatives and the Catholic Church, with hundreds of thousands of people joining protest marches in Paris and other cities over recent months.
Another photo showed other protesters — fully clothed — two holding a sign that read in English: “Help! France tramples on children’s rights.” They were removed after yelling during the match.
Play continued with Nadal leading countryman David Ferrer in the second set. Nadal won the match 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 to win his eighth French Open men’s title.
CNN’s Jessica King contributed to this report.