Just when we thought the football arena was becoming one big lovefest for the LGBT community, here comes a story to burst our bubble: An 18-year-old in North Dakota was kicked off his college football team after coming out as gay during a game.
Over Labor Day weekend Jamie Kuntz, a student at North Dakota State College of Science, was attending an away game at Snow College in Pueblo, Colorado. Still suffering from a concussion, Kuntz was on the injured list, but was asked to film the game for his teammates. Kuntz’s boyfriend, who lives in Denver, drove to Pueblo for the match and sat with him in the empty press box.
Young, horny and bored, Kuntz impetuously kissed his boyfriend as his teammates got slaughtered on the field.
But apparently not all eyes were on the field: Kuntz’s coach, Chuck Parsons, pulled him off the bus and confronted him. At first Kuntz denied being gay and kissing anyone. On the ride home, Kuntz apparently tweeted some messages that made some teammates concerned he might attempt suicide and the police were called. Once they determined he wasn’t suicidal, Kuntz sent Parsons a message admitting he was gay and had kissed his boyfriend in the press box. He also apologized for lying.
The next day Parsons called him into his office and told him he was off the team: “He said he didn’t care what people did in their personal lives but it was a big mistake to do that on a football trip,” said Kuntz. “I said, yeah, I made a big mistake and I apologized again for lying. Then he handed me a letter and said he was kicking me off the team because what I did was ‘detrimental’ to the team and I was a ‘distraction.’”
Kuntz shared the letter with Dan Savage, who posted it on the Stranger blog:
“The head coach reserves the right to dismiss any team member for any conduct that is deemed detrimental to the team. This includes, but is not limited to, any criminal charges or convictions; violations of school policies, NDSCS athletic policies, or NDSCS Wildcat Football policies… Lying to Coaches, Teachers, or other school staff [constitute a violation].”
“This decision was arrived at solely on the basis of your conduct during the football game… and because you choose not to be truthful with when I confronted you about whom else was in the box with you.”
It’s possible Parsons is just a hard-ass and would’ve come down on any player caught breaking the rules. But, as Kuntz tells Savage, other teammates have been caught drinking and going into 21-and-over clubs. Others have criminal charges and convictions, both misdemeanors and felonies, and have remained active players.
Sounds like a double standard to us.
But there may have been another factor in Kuntz’s punishment: His boyfriend is 65-years-old.
“When my coach pulled me off the bus that night and asked me who that was with me in the press box,” Kuntz says, “I said, ‘Oh, that was my grandpa up there with me. I wasn’t kissing my grandpa, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”
Kuntz says that he has always been attracted to older men. Kuntz was 18 when he met his boyfriend online and Kuntz says he was the aggressor.
“I definitely pursued him,” says Kuntz. “He’s a great guy. I love him.”
For now Kuntz has dropped out of NDSCS and is living at home and weighing his options.