The young guy who ran onto the court to kiss Rafael Nadal is probably wishing he hadn't. Following his arrest at Arthur Ashe Stadium during the U.S. Open, kisser Noam U. Aorta is being hit with charges of third-degree criminal trespass and interfering with a professional sporting event. If he's convicted, the judge can hammer him with the max of one year in jail and a $1500 fine.
U.S. Open organizers are freaking out about what they say is a security issue. They are tightening up. The district attorney is insisting that it could have been a replay of the 1993 incident when Monica Seles was stabbed by a spectator. Still, we LGBT folk have to wonder if the charges would have been less if Aorta had merely shaken Nadal's hand instead of kissing him...or if pro tennis were friendly to openly gay players.
Lucky for Aorta, Nadal was evidently not eager to add sexual assault to the list of charges. The Spanish player said, "For me it wasn't a problem. The guy was really nice. He said, 'I love you,' and he kissed me."
A year behind bars seems like a heavy price to pay for an impulsive sporting-event trespass, let alone an unsolicited guy-to-guy kiss. But that's America today. Always dedicated to keeping our "correctional" institutions crammed with as many minor nonviolent offenders as possible. Prison-guard jobs have to be protected at all costs.