Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille have released 33-year-old center back Adil Rami, but reportedly not for his rapidly deteriorating skill set or advancing age. No, the French club severed ties with Rami due to “gross misconduct,” resolving a bizarre situation that involved a reality show, a missed training session, and mud wrestling.
The problems started when Rami missed a training session at the end of last season, citing an injury. Sounds normal enough at first, but it later came out that Rami had actually skipped the session to record an episode of French YouTube reality show Fort Boyard, where a handful of contestants compete in a set of challenges to win prize money.
In Rami’s episode, which aired on June 29 but was recorded towards the end of last season, one of the World Cup-winning defender’s challenges was to participate in a variation of mud wrestling, while another involved running in a hamster wheel-like contraption slowly filling up with foam.
Upon finding out that the episode filmed the same day as the missed training session, Marseille opened an investigation into the matter. According to French news wire AFP, club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud said in a July interview that “Adil Rami must question, but deeply, on his status, on his profession of professional footballer, on his rights and duties as a player.”
The club kept Rami out of its summer tours before releasing him on Monday. The contract termination is another low point in a publicly tumultuous year for the French international: his relationship with Pamela Anderson ended earlier this summer, with the former Baywatch actress both speaking out against Rami’s infidelity and accusing him of physical abuse.
Reportedly, Rami had been looking to move to MLS sooner than later, but his breakup with Anderson and subsequent exclusion and termination likely ended any hope of a move stateside. Though, if his heart is still set on finding a job that would take him to America, at this point he’d probably be best served trying to get on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge.