Chris: This is the point of ridiculousness that political correctness in college sports has reached: Syracuse has dropped the Kiss Cam due to "Promoting Sexual Assault."
Let's get one thing straight people, if schools are going to do stupid things, it has to be "raising tuition" stupid, or "paying the college head coach millions while paying the players nothing" stupid. What Syracuse has done is over-the-top stupid.
Look, sexual assault is no joke: it's not funny, it's disgusting and anyone who is guilty of it, in my opinion, deserves to have their genitals cut off medieval style.
Nic: Let's take a look at the letter to the editor that sparked this change, since it is 100% of the evidence that the CarrierDome honchos are using for the change:
To the Editor:
I've been meaning to write this letter all week after going to the Syracuse University-Wake Forest game last week, but your story on the Mets kiss cam inspired me to actually do it.
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.
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.
The next "couple" shown were again students that were clearly not a couple. Again, this second female in question shakes her head no. I then see no less than six sets of hands from the seats around her shove her unwilling face into his, crowd cheers.
This is completely unacceptable behavior by the male students, the surrounding students and the crowd. It makes me sick that in a day and age where sexual assault (particularly on college campuses) is so rampant that school officials would allow such a display to happen.
The instances I witnessed at the game encourage and condone sexual assault and a sense of male entitlement, at best. And they are an actual instance of assault, at worst.
No one has the right to forcefully touch someone be it a hug, a kiss or a violent rape. I adamantly insist that Syracuse University student government, the chancellor, the athletic director, etc. review what happened last weekend and seriously consider the ramifications of what they are encouraging.
Whether it was out of innocence or ignorance, it is still unacceptable to allow a student to be forcefully touched on a Jumbotron accompanied by cheers from the crowd. It's disgusting.
The complaints raised in this letter are 100% fair - if they are accurate (which has been debated by some others in attendance). There is no scenario in which a female who has no interest in intimate physical contact has it forced upon her is okay, and any instance of doing so is most certainly assault, whether it happens on camera in front of thousands of people or not. This is a travesty, and the guilty parties should be found out and expelled.
Chris: That said, the Kiss Cam itself does not promote sexual assault, it promotes friendship and love (whether Platonic or romantic). Someone who does not want to be on the Kiss Cam does not have to. When you have instances that the letter writer who was instrumental in getting Kiss Cam cancelled pointed out, that's the damn responsibility of the school to find the asshole who was perpetrating, cuff him and boot him out.
Secondly, it's also the responsibility of whoever is running the goddamn camera to have a heads up. When people aren't a couple, MOVE THE DAMN CAMERA. Unless of course, something hilarious happens...
This is not promoting sexual assault, it's promoting drunkeness...Obviously the woman on the left doesn't love him and has no interest, so he chooses the next closest...something that does.
Another example of where the camera just DOESN'T MOVE. At least this time, the guy was prepared for it. Still, that's 30 seconds of NOTHING HAPPENING when there's probably 100 other couples in the stadium secretly hoping they'll make it on the camera. Just look at the lovely couple in front of them, they never get on camera...
Nic: Ninety-nine percent of the time, the Kiss Cam is a completely innocuous event that, while a bit ridiculous, is enjoyed by many and is on the bucket list of a number of others. This is some Baader-Meinhof action here; the fact that a couple of boorish students used that moment of opportunity to molest a couple of female students - if that's an accurate portrayal of events - doesn't increase beyond one percent the odds that something other than "man and woman happily kiss each other" will happen, nor does it increase beyond a percent of a percent the odds of something this specifically grotesque happening. It just makes us all more aware that it could happen.
That's no reason to eliminate something that has literally been around for decades because it is so innocuous; to do so is a wild overreaction. Hopefully this is nothing more than cause for all Kiss Cam operators to be a bit more discerning, and for all facility staff to pay closer attention to exactly what goes on during this bit of entertainment.