The Sheffield Steelers would like to issue the following statement with regard to the incident at the Steelers V Coventry Blaze game at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday 4th March :-
During the Game our overhead cameras were panning the arena for our fans to take part in our “kiss cam”. The idea of “kiss cam” is for people to turn to each other and kiss – the best kiss of the night then receives a prize. We also do this as a “dance cam” similar process but the best dancer of the evening wins a prize. The camera picked out people at random in the crowd sitting next to each other, the two males leaned over and kissed their female companions to the left and right respectively. The two males then turned and kissed each other – this was met with applause as a way of the crowd showing their appreciation for those taking part and joining in the fun on the night.
The match night announcer, David Simms, called the kissing of the two males “disgusting” and asked that they be removed. This was a most regrettable incident which the Steelers realise has caused tremendous upset to some fans and in particular the LGBT community, many of whom are Steelers fans. The Steelers wish to place on record their sincere apology to anyone who was upset by David’s comments and as an organisation we in no way condone them.
David Simms says he is very sorry that his comments have upset people, including those in the LGBT community, but that was not his intention.
Steelers Managing Director Tony Smith said ” David’s actions on Saturday night were foolish and thoughtless – I have spoken to him at length and he is very sorry for all the hurt and upset he has caused to the LGBT community. Yesterday I spoke with Neale Gibson of LGBT Sheffield explaining the events which surrounded the incident on Saturday night, Neale has very kindly offered advice which we are taking. I have also been in contact with Stonewall to discuss an LGBT programme the Steelers could participate in. Their policy and motto “acceptance without exception” is one the Steelers have always tried to follow.
I must stress David’s actions do not reflect the attitude or policy of the Sheffield Steelers towards the LGBT community – we are a family and welcome each and everyone to the Steelers games without exception and hope this regrettable incident brings the Steelers and the LGBT community closer together in the future.”