Unless you're into losing, the best part of a Wizards game for many years has been the kiss-cam, a silly distraction during timeouts that puts an opposite-sex couple in the crowd on the big screen and urges them to smooch. It's funny because you never know if the people actually will kiss. You don't even know if they're at the game together. At the end of the segment, the camera settles on two players on the visiting team, which provokes laughter and antics from the athletes. No more. Too gay. Too offensive to gays. Not acceptable for children to see same-sex people almost kissing. Not a politically correct enough depiction of homosexuality for children to see. Whatever. The kiss-cam will no longer show two people of the same gender on screen. For fear of offending everyone.
I guess it's all well-intentioned, but ... c'mon. What's funny about two players on a kiss-cam is, first, the fact that they're players, and, second, their reaction. They hide under towels or mug for the camera or stoically ignore each other. You almost never see two people of the same sex kiss in public. The message of the new kiss-cam policy: We shouldn't see it, lest someone giggle for the wrong reasons. That kind of stuff, even implied, apparently makes everyone too squeamish for reasons cultivated on every part of the political spectrum.
From the Washington City Paper:
When someone finally writes the history of gay rights in sports, the story of an openly gay active player in one of the big four American pro sports leagues will be a huge deal. But, all the same, the slow disappearance of practices like the Kiss-Cam Ambush — premised on the notion that same-sex kisses are inherently insulting — ought to count as a bit of progress, too.
The premise isn't that same-sex kisses are inherently insulting. It's that kisses between two people who might not be a couple are inherently funny.
Not that there aren't battles left to fight, even in Leonsis' comparatively benevolent stadium: The kiss-cam continues, and, so far, the couples are always opposite-sex.
As the kiss-cam goes, so goes America.
You've Been Kiss-Cammed [Washington City Paper]