There is nothing that defines culture in our society more than sport.
It is still the biggest reason why people are glued to the television in larger numbers than even the Eurovision Song Contest. It is also one of the last major bastions of homophobia in our society, so every single breakthrough we make is very significant. This week saw yet another heart-warming incident that indicates that maybe the tide is turning, albeit at a trickle at a time.
Last Saturday at the Dodgers game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, the infamous Kiss Cam was making its usual way around the stadium, putting couples up on the big screen so people could see them awkwardly smooch. The camera then landed on two men, which used to be a stupid joke before most professional sports organizations banned it, but this was no joke. This was just another couple, and the Dodgers wanted to include them in the corny fun.
What happened next was extra special. When the couple kissed and smiled at the camera, the entire stadium cheered, because they knew they were witnessing something they would not have seen merely five years ago.
One of the crowd Steve Hartline told The Gaily Grind:
“I was at the Dodger/Diamondbacks game on Saturday evening at Dodger Stadium. Kiss Cam comes on, and after a few standard awkward couple moments, the camera focuses on two men. My natural instinct was this was for a gag/cheap laugh, but the two men turned to each other and kiss, indicating they are a real-life loving couple, not a punchline. I’m glad I was there, as it felt historic, and was proud of the loud, enthusiastic response from the crowd. Not one person around me groaned or made derogatory remarks, and seemed genuinely pleased with the moment.”
The couple in the video, married couple of 20 years Steven and Rick Simone-Friedland, spoke about the big moment and what the heartwarming reaction meant to them.
“All we did was kiss,” Steven said. “What made everyone’s day was the crowd reaction. I don’t think anybody was expecting that reaction. I kiss my husband every single day. That’s not the big deal. The big deal is what happened immediately after. That’s just the most amazing thing.”
It was a very big change from the summer of 2000, when two women were thrown out of a Los Angeles Dodgers game for kissing. They were surrounded by eight security guards and escorted out because they exposing children to disgusting acts of horror, like love and engaging in public displays of affection that every straight couple engaged in that same evening.