Here we have nothing short of a beautiful moment, and regardless of whether you think it's a big deal or not, it at least represents a shift in the right direction.
At Thursday night's game between the LA Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the old kiss cam fired up, and a couple of smooches in, the camera fixed on a handsome pair of men who were delighted to see themselves on the jumbotron at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The ensuing kiss, according to human rights journalist Greg Hogben, was the first time a gay couple have smooched at an NHL game.
And just listen to that crowd! The NHL isn't known for straying the proto-masculine path, so it's reassuring to hear a mixture of shock, delight, and cheers as the men lock lips, layered over with outright jubilation from whoever was filming the video. It seems as if the crowd was unsure if it was another one of those homophobic moments when the cameraman (or producers, or whoever makes that decision) leaves two heteronormative bros to comically refuse each other. But then, as the kiss happens, the noise shifts from confusion and apprehension to a warm commotion.
Los Angeles seems to be a great city for laying down these kiss cam firsts, because on May 2, 2014, the Dodgers had a pretty spectacular first gay kiss cam kiss at their stadium. Check it out below, 28 seconds in:
Despite the fact that the first gay kiss on kiss cam is disputably held by the San Francisco Giants in 2011, it's nice to see other sports coming around to embrace love in all its capacities. But the day we see a gay kiss cam at an NFL game? Now that will be progress.