Ah, the kiss cam. That cute, time tested stunt seen at sporting events around the world to keep people entertained during slow moments between the action.
It’s a lot less cute when you add homophobia into the mix, as TV presenter Paul Hand did while commentating on the women’s tennis singles quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“Let’s hope they don’t go on to two blokes sat next to each other,” Hand said, after encouraging straight couples to kiss.
The BBC has issued an apology, saying, “The comment was ill-judged and we apologise to any of our viewers who were offended.”
And indeed, many were:
Dear @BBCSport, homophobic and Russophobic comments by Paul Hand are hurtful and mean.
— Marta (@MStolzova) August 9, 2016
Disgusting homophobia by @BBCSport's commentator Paul Hand during the Tennis. Indefensible.
— (((JP Kesseler))) (@jpkesseler) August 9, 2016
— Gary Patrick Brown (@gpb1979) August 9, 2016
And this is what is wrong with some people in society. Sad. Paul Hand hang your head in shame https://t.co/Fk3sh31HmD
— Andy Bigh Hargreaves (@therealbig_h) August 9, 2016
Watch video of the “joke” below:
This year’s Olympic Games has a record number of out athletes, one of whom, Team Brazil’s Isadora Cerullo, got engaged to her girlfriend in Rio after her rugby match with Team Australia.
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Some of the athletes have been subjected to homophobic slurs from crowds, in particular members of the American women’s soccer team. Team USA includes several out lesbians. The head coach, Jill Ellis, is also a lesbian.