If you’ve been to a sporting event, you’ve no doubt seen the kiss cam, a segment during which two people presumed to know each other are invited to kiss on the video projected on the scoreboard, so that the team can cash the check from the jewelry store or other sponsor.
For the most part, it’s harmless. People particularly love the elderly smooching it up.
But occasionally, the roving camera person picks a couple that are brother and sister. Or, worse, total strangers. And same-sex couples? Rarely happens.
This is why the sports journalism website The Ringer is suggesting the kiss cam’s days are over, and launching an online debate.
Are they? Probably not. It’s the most popular in-game break at Target Field during Twins games.
“One of the main issues with the kiss cam is that there’s no way to opt into — or out of — it,” Britni de la Cretaz wrote Thursday in an article that’s launched a thousand horror stories.
If you want to to watch your favorite player or team in person, you’re also opening yourself up to being broadcast on the big board. Some people come up with contingency plans before going to games to avoid ending up on screen, like Arizona resident Ashley Gustaveson.
“There were plenty of times before [I got married] that I went to a game on a date and planned in advance how I would get out of kissing the guy in case we got on the Kiss Cam. Most plans involved mouthing, ‘He’s my brother,’” she says in a Twitter DM. “I also tried to not move very close to or overtly flirt with the guy next to me until after the Kiss Cam inning.”
Estrada told the L.A. Times in 2010 that “people are always asking me to be in other promotions, but nobody ever asks me to be in the [Lakers] Kiss Cam.” She speculated that was because “they know it only works if it’s spontaneous.” But what if that’s actually indicative of people having no desire to be featured on it?
“The kiss cam, for as innovative and novel as it was when it was developed, just doesn’t seem built to withstand the cultural shifts we’re witnessing,” she says.
A few years ago, Kiss Cam forced Gophers hockey fan Adam Martin to come prepared on Valentine’s Day.