A traditionally heteronormative sports tradition got an update recently, when the NFL promised to show more diverse couples on its Kiss Cam — including LGBTQ couples.
But queer couples are still facing major discrimination at sporting events (and everywhere else, really.)
Two queer men were featured on the kiss cam at a Sheffield Steelers hockey game in the UK on Saturday, as Teen Vogue reports. But instead of being a celebratory moment, the kiss became humiliating and, we expect, infuriating, for the two men when the sports announcer called it "disgusting."
When the camera turned to the two men, hockey announcer David Simms said, “That’s disgusting. Security, get rid of them,” according to The Gaily Grind.
Simms later posted a video with The Star denying that his comment was homophobic. He said it's a joke he's made many times, even with straight couples.
"If the comments made upset or offended anybody then of course I apologise completely," he said in the video. "It was a fun moment on the kiss-cam, we were flicking between different couples, we were trying to trying to win (offer) tickets for the final of the Challenge Cup...and then the comment came out 'Oh, Security, remove them immediately.' Which again I apologised for if people take offence."
"Maybe I live in a different world," he said. "I can't really see the offence I have caused."
But Twitter is not taking his less-than-heartfelt apology. And, honestly, neither do we.
Two blokes kiss on the big screen and @steelershockey announcer says "that's disgusting, get them out" joke or not, that's homophobic.— kieran (@kielawrence97) March 4, 2017
sports commentator who called a same-sex kiss on the Kiss Cam "disgusting" says he doesn't get how we've got to a place where that's not ok— Mitch (@HYPARC) March 7, 2017
Whether or not he meant to be offensive is besides the point. The comment was offensive, and added to discrimination those two men have to deal with all the time. They were just a couple at a hockey game, taking part in a fun sporting tradition. But what was meant to be a sweet moment turned ugly because of Simms's comment. That's pretty damn homophobic.
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