The “Kiss Cam” is a staple of many sporting events. During breaks in game play, a camera focuses on two audience members and encourages them to kiss for all to witness on the big screen. But at the Washington Mystics, a WNBA team, there is no Kiss Cam. Because the cameras might capture two women kissing.
If you’ve ever been to a WNBA game, you know the lesbian quotient is high. (Off and on the court, right girls?) You’ll find a disproportionately high number of girl-loving girls holding season tickets. But for the Mystics, the chance that two gals might share a smooch in front of an audience — that includes kids! — just isn’t worth the risk. And not only is management okay with it, but so too are team members. (Possibly under direction from management?)
Says Mystics managing partner Sheila Johnson: “We got a lot of kids here. We just don’t find it appropriate.”
And point guard Lindsey Harding: “We wouldn’t broadcast on our Jumbotron about abortion issues because of the religious and political conflicts it would cause. It’s a similar, sensitive subject. We don’t want to put anything out there to turn down certain fans.”
Laughably, the one organization you’d expect to have a problem with the team’s obvious discrimination (based on family values) is the Human Rights Campaign. But they don’t. OF COURSE. HRC vice president Cathy Nelson: “Sheila and the Mystics have been nothing but supportive in our mind, showing up at all our dinners, events, even bringing the whole team once.”
To be sure, it appears the Mystics have a blanket ban on the Kiss Cam: It’s not that they don’t show girls kissing girls, they don’t show anyone kissing anyone. So does that count as discrimination?
Well, yes, because it’s the rational behind their decision: Two women sharing a peck is just too bizarre to expose fans to. But the Kiss Cam has never been about broadcasting sexuality, but to show two fans in love. And for all the money lesbians send the WNBA’s way, perhaps the league’s teams could show some love back.
(No, the top photo is not of a Mystics game. Nor does it feature two ladies. We think.)