“Let’s hope they don’t go on to two blokes sat next to each other,” Hand said, after encouraging straight couples to kiss.
The BBC has issued an apology, saying, “The comment was ill-judged and we apologise to any of our viewers who were offended.”
And indeed, many were:
Dear @BBCSport, homophobic and Russophobic comments by Paul Hand are hurtful and mean.
— Marta (@MStolzova) August 9, 2016
Disgusting homophobia by @BBCSport's commentator Paul Hand during the Tennis. Indefensible.
— (((JP Kesseler))) (@jpkesseler) August 9, 2016
— Gary Patrick Brown (@gpb1979) August 9, 2016
And this is what is wrong with some people in society. Sad. Paul Hand hang your head in shame https://t.co/Fk3sh31HmD
— Andy Bigh Hargreaves (@therealbig_h) August 9, 2016
Watch video of the “joke” below.
Some of the athletes have been subjected to homophobic slurs from crowds, in particular members of the American women’s soccer team. Team USA includes several out lesbians. The head coach, Jill Ellis, is also a lesbian.