Friday, September 18, 2015

Mets to end 'homophobic' kiss cam joke after backlash: Report

The New York Mets said the team will stop featuring MLB players on the kiss cam after some fans complained the stunt was homophobic.

It's a stunt familiar to anyone who has been to just about any professional sporting event: The kiss cam pans across the stands, featuring different couples, before settling on two men or two women in an apparent joke, usually enticing loud roars of laughter from the stands.

But after complaints about the non-hetero pairings started rolling in, the Mets relented, according to the Huffington Post.

The kiss cam will continue, said Jay Horwitz, vice president of media relations, but it will no longer feature any players in the heart-shaped frame as a perceived joke.

The organization said Wednesday:

"We have, on occasion, included players from opposing teams in our popular in-game kiss cam feature. While intended to be lighthearted, we unintentionally offended some. We apologize for doing so and no longer will include players in the feature. Our organization is wholly supportive of fostering an inclusive and respectful environment at games." 

New Yorker Etan Bednarsh, a lifelong Mets fan first witnessed the gag in April at a Mets game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The heart-shaped frame captured several smooching couples before landing on two players in the Phillies dugout, prompting snickers around the stadium.

To Bednarsh and his friends, it was no laughing matter. He took to his smart phone and tweeted at the Mets.

"Putting two men together on the kiss cam isn't a punch line. I want to keep coming to games. Please stop doing this," he tweeted.

After he didn't hear from the team, Bednarsh kept tweeting at it each time he saw the stunt repeated in subsequent games.

Increasingly more frustrated as the gag continued throughout the season, Bednarsh compiled similar complaints from other fans and tweeted them at the team.

Now the stunt will go the way of "Disco Demolition Night" — at least at Citi Field.

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