The Mets, like many other teams, show a kiss cam on the scoreboard between innings in which couples are encouraged to smooch. But the Mets also had a habit of showing opposing players on the kiss cam — their image framed inside of a heart — as a gag. Not everyone found it funny, of course: Some fans complained that the joke was homophobic, and one fan in particular has tweeted at them for months to get them to drop it.
That fan, Etan Bednarsh, appeared on HuffPost Live yesterday, and during the interview, the host surprised him with news: HuffPo had reached out to the Mets, and a spokesperson apologized and announced that the team would no longer show opposing players on the kiss cam.
Here’s the statement from the Mets in full:
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.
Said Bednarsh: “I’m thrilled. I think that’s a really important first step. I think that not showing players as a joke, not showing the idea that two male athletes would be gay as a joke, is a huge first step. Let’s use this as an opportunity, I’d say to the Mets. Don’t just stop doing that. I would love to see more inclusion. There’s no reason not to feature same-sex couples in the kiss cam and in other activities.”