Back in November, champion bowler Scott Norton defeated Jason Belmonte in the 2012 PBA Chameleon Championship in Las Vegas, NV to become champion for the second time in his career. This news, quite honestly, isn’t at all of interest to me and, I suspect, to many of you. BUT, the championship match aired for the first time on ESPN this past Sunday and caught my eye (and the eye of many others) because at the conclusion, Scott shared a celebratory on-camera kiss with his husband Craig Woodward. I can’t be sure but I believe this is the first time the ESPN network has ever aired a pro athlete sharing a same-sex kiss. That, my friends, should be of considerable interest to each and every one of us. Click below to watch video of the happy and extremely loving moment as it aired on ESPN this weekend.
Openly gay bowler Scott Norton won his second title at the World Series of Bowling Chameleon Championship, which aired on ESPN on December 30. You don’t have to be a bowling fan to be touched by Norton’s tear-filled victory, and the hug and kiss between Norton and his husband, Craig Woodward, in the clip above. For all the butt-slapping and hugging that goes on in pro sports, this could very well be the first time ESPN has aired a genuine kiss between a same-sex couple.
In what might be a first, ESPN this weekend showed an openly gay male pro athlete kissing his husband and they did not shy away from describing the relationship. The event was the 2012 PBA Chameleon Championship in Las Vegas, held in November, but shown on TV this Sunday. Scott Norton won the event over Jason Belmonte and afterward broke down and cried in memory of a friend who had died. He was then shown kissing his husband, Craig Woodward, as they exchanged affectionate words. During the telecast, ESPN’s announcers referred to Woodward as Norton’s husband or spouse.
First off, congratulations, Scott, on your well-deserved victory. It’s clear that this championship win meant a lot to him for a few reasons. Second, kudos to ESPN for airing such a sweet, tender and boringly normal moment between a happily married professional athlete and his husband (tho, it really doesn’t matter that Scott and Craig are married at all, ESPN did the right thing by showing the kiss at all). Since the championship match took place in November and was aired on TV a month later, the network could’ve easily edited out the kiss and no one would be any the wiser. The fact that the sports commentators mentioned that Craig is Scott‘s husband and still chose to air the quick kiss says to me that the folks at ESPN have no problem showing this kind of same-sex affection on their network. I’m not a sports person at all but I can tell you this right now, I plan to watch and support ESPN as much as possible. This is such fantastic “news”. While I long for the day when stuff like this isn’t considered news at all, I’m happy to celebrate and champion this kind of thing whenever it takes place :D