HUFFPOST LIVE

New York Mets Announce End To Kiss Cam Joke Fans Deemed Homophobic

The New York Mets exclusively tell HuffPost Live that opposing players will no longer be included on the "Kiss Cam."

Kiss that creepy custom at Citi Field goodbye!

In response to accusations of homophobia, the New York Mets announced Wednesday, in an exclusive statement to HuffPost Live, that the team would no longer include two opposing players on its "Kiss Cam."

A spokesperson for the Mets wrote to HuffPost Live:

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.

The longtime stadium ritual shows a series of couples in the crowd on the Jumbotron and encourages them to kiss on camera. At Citi Field, the couples, always heterosexual, are followed by a joke pairing of two male players from the visiting team, as if to say in the most sophomoric way: what if these two Major League Baseball players were to kiss?
 
The problem is certain fans didn't find this joke at all funny, and they took to social media to voice their displeasure.
 
Longtime Mets fan Etan Bednarsh began tweeting about the gag in April, asking the organization to stop with the "punchline" of placing two male players on the Kiss Cam:
 
 

Other fans joined Bednarsh in calling for the Mets to end the bad joke, calling the team "homophobic," "imbeciles," and "f*cking stupid."

While the joke continued throughout the season, Bednarsh wrote to the Mets directly this month asking them to change the policy:

While Bednarsh never got a response from the Mets, HuffPost Live invited him to join Thursday's edition of "Queerview" to discuss the issue. In preparation for the segment, HuffPost Live reached out to the Mets, and received the news that Bednarsh had been waiting for.

Watch the full interview on HuffPost Live's "Queerview" above, in which host Josh Zepps surprises Etan Bednarsh with the news that the Mets decided to drop the bad Kiss Cam joke.

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