ESPN, NFL Network Producers Had No Reservations Airing Michael Sam Kiss
It will go down as one of the biggest moments in LGBT and sports history, and while a few Neanderthals threw homophobic fits on Twitter, the two networks that aired Michael Sam's victorious kiss with his partner Vito Cammisano didn't think twice about keeping it in the broadcast.
"We never had one discussion about, 'What if he's drafted, his partner's there and they kiss?' Honestly, it never came up," ESPN producer Seth Markman said.
"When I got home last night and saw the attention (it was receiving), it kind of threw me," he added. "We're a young production crew and quite honestly it was just another moment in the years we've done this."
"In the truck, we were only saying, 'Wow, this is great emotion here.' No one stepped up and said, 'Oh, wow, do we really want to be showing this?'"
The NFL Network also aired Michael Sam's reaction to officially becoming the first openly-gay NFL player in league history.
"We had no discussion on the NFL Network side about how or how much or how little we would show, if or when Michael was selected," Mike Muriano, NFL Network senior coordinating producer, said.
"We were certainly not blind or deaf to the cultural significance," he added. "We try to tap into that with all these kids."
GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis applauded coverage and broadcast of the historic moment. "As media and corporations continue to embrace and support LGBT people," Ellis said, "it's almost second nature that there isn't a mechanism to think twice about, 'Could that be controversial, is that overstepping?'"