It’s a staple of most sports arenas—the kiss cam that prompts couples to pucker up for the large video screen, only to end on two unsuspecting people, often men, to the delight of a laughing crowd.
Is it homophobic or just a little fun between plays? Southern Voice explores the issue.
It’s a joke to make fun of the visiting team, but does it exploit homophobic feelings among sports fans? The Thrashers, and the Atlanta Spirit ownership group, decided not answer that question by not responding to a series of emails and phone messages left over a three-week time frame.
“It doesn’t really bother me,” Mike Thrasher, 50, of Atlanta, said while hanging out at Atlanta’s gay sports bar, Woofs.
Thrasher—yes, that’s his real name—is a season ticket holder at Georgia Tech and attends a number of Thrasher and Atlanta Hawks games each year.
“I go to Georgia Tech games and they do the same thing at basketball games. I don’t think they’re doing it to be mean-spirited,” he said.
Some sports fans argue it’s an issue of double standards.
While there is no outcry about the Philips Arena kiss cam, Peter Torres, 29, of Buckhead, sees a double standard.
“What I think is if they ran two hot girls kissing that place would break out into insanity,” he said. “I would even say it wouldn’t be an issue if it was two women instead of two men.”
Torres said the kiss cam doesn’t upset him, but on some level it does bring back feelings of insecurity.
“There’s a part of me that is still hurt a little bit by it. I feel like I’m transported back to junior high for a few seconds,” he said.