An openly gay Jaguars fan is petitioning the team end the “Kiss Cam.” The gimmick is used in most stadiums during breaks in play. A camera operator will find a couple and put them on the jumbotron. The couple is then supposed to kiss in front of the entire crowd.
Dave Uible, an openly gay Jaguars fan, has sent a letter to Jaguars team President Shahid Khan telling him the way the “Kiss Cam” is used at EverBank field is homophobic.
Outsports spoke with Uible about the issue. He also gave them a copy of the letter. He explains he has been a season ticket holder for four years and felt he had to send a letter to Khan after reading an article in the New York Times about gay players in the NFL.
In the letter Uible tells Khan why the “Kiss Cam” is offensive. The segment shows several, ” heterosexual couples kissing in the stands, the camera then pans to two opposing male players who are in close proximity and leaning toward each other.” When the players don’t kiss the crowd laughs.
Uible continues, “Hilarious, right? No, and the message is clear. Jaguars are heterosexual and approved. The opponent is ‘gay,’ disapproved and the butt of a crude joke.”
As an openly gay sports fan, Uible is disappointed the Jaguars would approve of the joke. He believes that while the “Kiss Cam” is not the most offensive thing ever, the gimmick needs to go.
Here is an example of the “Kiss Cam” at Toronto Maple Leafs game. About half way through the camera operator focuses on two cheerleaders and the crowd erupts into wild laughter. It then cuts away before the women actually kiss:
The clip may not be exactly what Uible describes, but the underlying issues of homophobia are clearly present.
Jacksonville is one of the 70 largest cities in the United States, but does not have equal rights protection for the gay community. Shahid Khan was born in Pakistan and has lived in the United States since he was 16. Uible asks Khan to stand as an “other” with the gay community to help move the city forward.
Do you find the “Kiss Cam” offensive? Should Shahid Khan listen to Dan Uible and get rid of the gimmick to help make the gay community feel more welcome?