NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets have decided to stop featuring opposing players on their kiss cam due to fan complaints that it’s homophobic.
During the kiss cam segment at Citi Field this season, players have been shown in a heart-shaped frame.
Jay Horwitz, the Mets’ vice president of media relations, confirmed that the segment has been discontinued. The traditional kiss cam featuring fans will continue.
“We have, on occasion, included players from opposing teams in our popular in-game kiss cam feature,” the organization said in a statement. “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 kiss came is a staple at sporting events around the country. During a break, couples are shown on the big screen and encouraged to kiss. The gimmick tends to draw laughter from the thousands on hand.
“The most charitable thing to say is it’s a junior-high gay joke,” Mets fan Etan Bednarsh told CNN in a phone interview when asked about the controversial segment involving players. “All I can say is try to picture the same joke, the same dugout, with a man and woman and there’s no joke. There’s nothing funny about it.
“Tell me what the joke is without getting back to the basic sentence that the joke is the idea of two male athletes kissing, or two men kissing.”