A ball boy at the Barcelona Open is the latest in line of ball kid fails. The boy tripped and fell into a wall during the first round match between Teymuraz Gabashvili and Nicolas Almagro.
The incident prompted discussion on how these cases become points of ridicule. Before the internet, if a ball kid accidents would only be noticed by those at the game. However, now, with access to memes and funny videos just a click of a button away, no one has control over what is circulated online, and what some consider funny, others consider harmful.
University of Wollongong media studies academic Professor Sue Turnbull said comedy has always been cruel.
“If we laugh at a comedian who falls over there is a sense of relief in that we know that he is trying to make us laugh and that is a deliberate move,” Prof. Turnbull said.
“Whereas, if we’re laughing at ordinary people who have a misfortune, then we inevitably have that moment of laughter and then that moment of regret or sadness, especially if they’ve hurt themselves.”