BBC forced to apologise after Rio commentator makes homophobic remark
Paul Hand was criticised for his ‘ill judged’ comments during a tennis kiss-cam.
The BBC has been forced to apologise after a commentator for the Rio Olympic games was accused of homophobia.
Paul Hand comments came during a ‘kiss cam’ feature at a tennis match.
During a break in play during Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova’s match, the cameramen zoomed in on couples sitting next to each other.
As the camera moved around the ground, the presenter joined in with the fun, telling one couple: “Come on, let’s have a kiss.”
He then joked “let’s hope they don’t go on to two blokes sat next to each other”.
Twitter users were quick to criticise Hand’s remarks, with some accusing him of “casual homophobia”.
“Couples in Rio crowd kissing when on big screen,” one user wrote.
“BBC commentator: ‘Let’s hope we don’t see two blokes!’ No, let’s hope we do. #homophobia”.
“Everyday homophobia from a commentator. I hope BBC will have a word,” Gary McKenna wrote.
Another user added: “WOWWW… the casual homophobia on the Konta v Kuznetsova commentary on BBC.”
A BBC spokesman later condemned Hand’s “ill judged” comments.
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“We apologise to any of our viewers who were offended.”
Sadly, this is not the only report of homophobia during this year’s games.
LGBT athletes say they are also being targeted with homophobic chants from the crowds at Rio.
Female football players have reported hearing anti-gay Portuguese insults ‘bicha’ and ‘puta’ shouted by Brazilian fans.
US soccer player Megan Rapinoe – one of over 40 LGBT athletes competing in the event – says the “hurtful” jibes are down to “mob mentality”.
Meanwhile, a lesbian couple made history yesterday by becoming the first same-sex couple to get get engaged at the Rio games.
Isadora Cerullo was proposed to by her girlfriend following rugby finals.