New York’s Syracuse University ended its “kiss cam” feature during sporting events this week after a fan claimed it promoted sexual assault.
Manilus resident Steve Port, who reportedly attended a game at the Carrier Dome earlier this month, claims to have witnessed several instances in which men forced themselves upon women after being featured by the kiss cam.
“During the kiss cam break at the Syracuse game last weekend I saw some horrifying behavior that was met with cheers and applause from the crowd. It made me sick to my stomach,” Port wrote in a letter to the editor of The Post-Standard.
“The first two people (and probably most people that wind up on the kiss cam) were happy to oblige the camera. However, the cameraman then scanned into the student section where a young man and a young woman were shown. Clearly not a couple, the male student pleaded his case for a kiss on the big screen while the female adamantly shook her head no. So what does this guy do? He grabs her head and shoves his tongue down her throat, the crowd cheers.”
Port’s letter, which caused widespread debate online, ultimately resulted in the kiss cam’s termination.
“We are taking the time to assess the concerns expressed in the letter to the editor. We discussed this with POMCO, the sponsor, and they supported that approach,” Sue Edson, executive senior associate athletics director for communications, said.
According to The Post-Standard, other alleged attendees of the game “questioned Port’s recollection of the events, noting that they were also at the game and did not see anything inappropriate.”
While some sports fans applauded the kiss cam’s demise, others feel the incident represents yet another example of political correctness gone wild.
Speaking with Fox News, Port stated that his intention was never to have the kiss cam removed but to merely bring attention to “horrifying behavior.”
“Honestly, I wasn’t out to kill the kiss cam,” Port said. “I was just out to raise an important issue that I saw happening and that’s important to me. I’ve always kind of been a little put off by it anyway, but never witnessed an actual act of — oh, my God, this woman is saying no and it didn’t matter.”
The New York Mets also faced a similar kiss cam controversy this month after a long-running gag, which places two teammates from the visiting team on the kiss cam, was stopped after complaints that it was “homophobic.”