The New York Mets have been forced to cut a long-standing joke from their kiss-cam segment after fans complained it was homophobic.
The team’s vice president of media relations Jay Horowitz explained the situation in a Wednesday statement:
We have, on occasion, included players from opposing teams in our popular in-game kiss cam feature. While intended to be lighthearted, we unintentionally offended some. We apologize for doing so and no longer will include players in the feature. Our organization is wholly supportive of fostering an inclusive and respectful environment at games.
The Mets began receiving criticism from fans, including New Yorker Ethan Bednarsh, in April of this season.
“It’s no secret sports is still a really rough place for LGBTQ players and fans,” Bednarsh told HuffPost Live. “I’m really thrilled that we’re at this place, regardless of how long it took, and I’m proud that the Mets made this commitment.”