Protesting the lameness — and the homophobia — of the "kiss cam"

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This Saturday the Cardinals are holding an “OUT at the ballpark” promotion in conjunction with a local LGBT group.  This is not uncommon. Lots of ballparks do this.  What is less common is that some people behind the event are wanting to turn it into a protest of sorts over how ballparks, stadiums and areans use the “Kiss Cam.”

The idea for a kiss cam moment came about after Sunday’s Ram’s
game against the Arizona Cardinals. During the game, the kiss cam
focused on two men in Arizona jerseys who jeered at the camera and
made expressions of distaste toward one another.

Some gays and lesbians who were at the game said it appeared
that by having the kiss cam linger on the men – who seemed to them
to be straight — there was an insinuation that the men were gay.
The kiss cam catch was followed by hoots and derisive cheers from
the audience.

I’ve always hated the kiss cam because it’s kind of lame, but I’ve especially never cared for that last, homophobic moment they almost always seem to create, as described above.

I used to go to a lot of Indians games with a buddy of mine and we made a pact that if they ever tried to use us as the pretext for mocking homosexuals that we’d immediately — and with as much passion as we could muster — kiss each other.  Yeah, that would have made for an uncomfortable drive back to Columbus, but the point would be made.

Actually, I take that back. The point wouldn’t have been made. I think it’s possible to get almost anyone to question their bigotry if you try hard enough, but homophobes seem like a lost cause to me. The lack of even the pretense of reason behind that junk is astounding.

So I wish the protesters at the Cardinals game who want to get on the kiss-cam in order to make a point this weekend good luck, but my guess that, regrettably, they’re not going to change any minds. To the contrary, they’ll probably only make the bigots more comfortable with their bigotry and the kiss cam will continue to be a source of lame gay jokes for years to come.

(h/t to The Big Lead)

Bartolo Colon Watching the Eclipse Is Your Moment of Zen

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A Solar Eclipse

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In that great journey of the stars through space
About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
The pallid, faithful Moon, has been the one
Companion of the Earth. Her tender face,
Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
Which at Time’s natal hour was first begun,
Shines ever on her lover as they run
And lights his orbit with her silvery smile.

Sometimes such passionate love doth in her rise,
Down from her beaten path she softly slips,
And with her mantle veils the Sun’s bold eyes,
Then in the gloaming finds her lover’s lips.
While far and near the men our world call wise
See only that the Sun is in eclipse.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

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Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.