Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 at the Staples Center in L.A., but the hockey game is making headlines for reasons that have nothing to do with what happened on the ice: The game featured the first same-sex kiss cam in NHL history — and, as you might expect, the historic on-screen smooch is super adorable. Video of the moment shows the kiss cam roaming from couple to couple, garnering its usual mix of sweet and awkward impromptu kisses, before stopping to zoom in on two men, Brad Parr and Andy Evans. They smile and oblige the crowd with an enthusiastic kiss, amid cheers from people in the stands. Journalist Greg Hogben reported that it was the first same-sex kiss-cam kiss in the league’s history.
Parr and Evans told Outsports that they had been hoping to appear on the kiss cam during the game. Parr added, “It was a particularly sweet night since the Kings were playing and beat my hometown Toronto.” Fleeting though it may have been, Parr and Evans’s kiss-cam moment is a big deal. Professional sports — and hockey particularly — tend to emphasize stereotypes of masculinity and heteronormativity, and kiss cams have a history of occasionally zooming in on two men as a “joke” — the funny (and, by that, I mean “offensive”) part being the inconceivable idea that two people of the same sex might actually want to kiss each other.
Parr and Evans’s kiss doesn’t magically undo the problems with homophobia in sports culture, but it does represent a shift away from a culture of strictly enforced ideals of heteronormativity and masculinity. As Nicolas DiDomizio at Mic points out, “[I]njecting some same-sex PDA into the equation is inherently subversive.”
Although this kiss is a first for professional hockey, same-sex kisses have started showing up in kiss cams for other sports. In 2014, a gay couple was featured on the kiss cam at a Dodgers’ game, and, in 2011, there was reportedly another kiss between two men on the kiss cam at a San Francisco Giants game.
Parr and Evans perform triathlons together, and race as part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. They are using their time in the limelight to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to fund research into treatments for blood cancers. Find out more about how they’re “hoping to help cure cancer with a kiss” here.
Images: YouTube (2)