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North Dakota

Gay college football player kicked off team after kissing boyfriend in press box

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WAHPETON, N.D. — A college freshman football player in North Dakota said he was kicked off the team after creating a “distraction” because he a kissed his much-older boyfriend.

Jamie Kuntz, 18, a freshman linebacker at North Dakota State College of Sciences in Wahpeton, N.D., said he was pulled from team bus on Sept. 1 by Coach Chuck Parsons, and questioned about a “distraction” that had occurred in the press box during their game in Pueblo, Colo.

Jamie Kuntz

According to a report in Yahoo Sports, Kuntz had been injured much of fall camp and had only practiced a couple days prior to the trip. So, the coaching staff asked him to film the game from the press box.

While in the press box, Kuntz invited his 65-year-old boyfriend, who lives in Colorado, to join him to watch the game.

During the second half of the 63-17 blowout, Kuntz took a minute away from the camera to kiss his boyfriend. The kiss was caught by some of Kuntz’s teammates and word started to spread.

Up until that point, Kuntz had hidden the fact that he was gay.

A teammate apparently saw the kiss and told coaches, Kuntz said, and when Parsons confronted him on the bus ride back to North Dakota, Kuntz said the man he kissed was his grandfather. “I lied,” Kuntz said.

Later, Kuntz said he felt guilty about lying — he said eventually came clean with his coach when the team got back to Wahpeton, and apologized for lying. Two days later, Kuntz was cut from the team.

In a Sept. 3 dismissal letter obtained by the Associated Press, Parsons told Kuntz he was being ousted from the team under the “conduct deemed detrimental to the team” category outlined in guidelines in the team’s player’s manual:

“Your actions on the evening of 9/1/2012, while representing NDSCS and the NDSCS football program, reflected poorly on the program. Your decisions and conduct on the night in question clearly fall into the ‘Conduct deemed detrimental to the team’ category.

Your actions/conduct during the game was a distraction to your teammates who were looking to the press box as the game was being played. This decision was arrived at solely on the basis of your conduct during the football game and because you chose not to be truthful with me when I confronted you about whom else was in the box with you.

Any conduct by any member of the program that would cause such a distraction during a game would warrant the same consequences.”

Kuntz doesn’t believe he was cut from the team simply for lying, and believes it’s because of his sexual orientation. He said players on the team had committed infractions such as underage drinking and fighting, which he considered more egregious offenses, and were not dismissed.

“It’s ludicrous to say Jamie’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with his release from the team,” said Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com, the online gay sports community.

“Kissing someone during a game isn’t a distraction unless it’s a ‘gay kiss.’ And even if it were a distraction, a slap on the wrist is more than enough to get the point across. Kicking him off the team for such a minor offense comes from one place and one place only: homophobia,” said Zeigler.

Kuntz added, “I know if it was a girl in the press box, or even an older woman, nothing would have happened … if it was an older woman, I would have probably been congratulated for it from my teammates.”

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40 more reader comments:

  1. Who cares if He’s Gay? That has NOTHING to do with the Game. Smh

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:14pm
  2. 65 year old boyfriend? smdh!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:14pm
  3. What the FUCK world??!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:14pm
  4. A couple of things with this.

    One: I don’t think it’s right that he got kicked off the team for being gay, if that really was the reason, but if a game’s going on, why was he in the press box? One article I read about this same story said he was a linebacker. Shouldn’t he have been on the field?

    Two: The lie he pulled out of his ass was that the man was his grandfather. That’s worse than just admitting the man’s your sugar daddy (when there’s an almost half-century age difference, I think it’s okay to drop the whole “boyfriend” label). A gay football player is easier to swallow than one in an incestuous relationship. No wonder the coach was thrown off. Anyone would be if they saw someone apparently making out with Gramps.

    I really think both sides are to blame on this one. The coach was probably influenced by some homophobia in his decision but the kid did not handle this situation well. If you’re going to date an older man and you openly engage in PDA with said older man, get caught, and then lie, perhaps you’re not as comfortable with the relationship? Off topic, but definitely the first thought that came to my mind.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:15pm
  5. You mean he was wearing skin tight pants and piling on top of other muscular sweaty men even when his college was not cashing in on it? How dare he!?!?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:15pm
  6. maybe they kicked him off because he sucked..

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:16pm
  7. American Football is one of the last enormous bastions of sexism and homophobia. I take my hat off to the gay and/or LGBT-friendly footballers who have come out in support of the community lately.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:16pm
  8. no pun intended

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:16pm
  9. Just wrong! You don’t choose who you love, it just happens! If I could have chosen who I loved, I wouldn’t have been married more than once! These people are homphobes filled with hate!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:16pm
  10. 65 year old boyfriend? Sugar Grandaddy? smdh!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:16pm
  11. Was he kicked of for telling a lie or because a 18 yr old kissed a 65 yr old!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:17pm
  12. an 18 year old man and his 65 year old boyfriend? Sugar Grandaddy? smdh!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:18pm
  13. If you read the article it says he was not laying because he was sick and was not even supposed to be at that game. He was int he press box shooting video for the team.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:18pm
  14. I would suggest that the age disparity of the two is NOT the issue here; and even if it were, the responsibility lies with the older party to ensure the “appropriateness” of the relationship. That said, there are thousands of straight couples who have age differences in the decades and it never makes the news. The issue here is that this college student was kicked off his football team for hiding the fact that he is gay – then coming clean. Talk about being punished for telling the truth! It smacks of homophobia and I hope that coach loses his job, frankly.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:18pm
  15. It would be equally disgusting regardless if it was a 65 year old male or female. sugar daddy much??! sorry

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:18pm
  16. The coach from North Dakota State College should be fired!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:20pm
  17. While I do think that there was homophobia involved, I think the kicker was that the guy was 65 years old and the kid lied.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:20pm
  18. this is ridiculous, after reading the whole article it’s obviously homophobia.
    And it has nothing to do with age, I agree with Kuntz “had it been an older woman, my teammates would’ve congratulated me”

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:24pm
  19. WTF is an 18 yo doing with a 65 yo!!! The only reason he lied though was because he was not out of the closet.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:25pm
  20. nothing to do with the whole gay aspect but… 65?!?!?! wow… I mean whatever floats your boat, but damn…

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:27pm
  21. With luck he’s going to end up at a much better school in a much nicer place!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:28pm
  22. It doesn’t matter how old his boyfriend was people, the focus here should be on the bigotry and homophobia against this kid. So are they gonna start removing his teammates if they kiss their girlfriends? I doubt it, this is discrimination. This guy should take legal action, people should not be dismissed simply for their sexual orientation.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:31pm
  23. The school deserves to be shamed. Agree, college student with 65 yr old? It’s your boat, let it float.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:33pm
  24. sugar grandaddy?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:37pm
  25. what is an 18 yr old boy doing with a 65 year old man?? THAT’S the weird part od the story for me.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:37pm
  26. But it’s okay to kiss your girlfriend regardless of the details.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:37pm
  27. Please help us understand how kissing is different than slapping each other on the arse.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:40pm
  28. *FLIPS TABLE

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:40pm
  29. Being a gay guy from North Dakota myself, even though I do not know this guy at all, let me try to help you understand maybe a reason as to why he was dating a much older man from out of state. Jamie is from North Dakota, the 65 y/o is from Colorado.

    Jamie is from Dickinson, in western North Dakota. Dickinson is a very red-neck, blue-collar, conservative town, population just over 18,000. Yes, they do have a college there, but it is not a town quite conducive to a viable gay community. The closest urban gay community would be either Minneapolis or Denver. There are pockets of gay community scattered around North Dakota. North Dakota itself tends to run very conservative, often Republican, and quite religious. But when you are a teen in Dickinson, one tends to stay in the closet and not venture far.

    Maybe he thought he could find an open door in college at Wahpeton on the other side of the state, but being on a football team, that probably limited his opportunities. So, like most guys with access to the internet, they look beyond the borders of North Dakota for any relationship.

    Is this his story? Maybe not? But this tends to be the life of gays on the prairie, isolated from solid, accepting communities.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:45pm
  30. 18 with a 65 yr old ‘boyfriend’ .. yeah this looks really good in the press.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:48pm
  31. Who cares abt ages !!! Leave them alone n love is love..

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:00pm
  32. I was 19 when I met my partner and he was 40 at the time – we have been together now for 21 years, so age has nothing to do with it. Kevin T I so agree with your statement!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:00pm
  33. I’m sorry I’m all about being opened minded but I draw the line at the age difference. I mean come on, he could practically be the same age as his grandfather. And I have to disagree , if a girl was caught with kissing a 65 year old man when she herself is 18, it would still look equally bad. It was just that he was gay is the reason why he was kicked off. Yeah i agree he shouldn’t be kick out of team, but is a 65year old doing with an 18 year old in the first place??

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:04pm
  34. Ew that’s sick.!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:23pm
  35. If he’d only been busted for drugs, he could have sat out a game and been right back on the team. How dare he kiss someone!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:41pm
  36. They should be praised for their courage in the face of such adversity!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:44pm
  37. I’m into older men, I think they’re hot and everything, but 65 years old… I mean, come on !

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 1:47pm
  38. that is really messed up its his private life fthem

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 2:30pm
  39. wow really??

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 2:44pm
  40. I’m sorry but its hard for me to feel sympathy for the young man when the bf is 50yrs older then him. my gut reaction is something ain’t right

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 4:41am