A teenage college football player from North Dakota was permanently booted from his team after he was was caught kissing his 65-year-old boyfriend during a game and lied to his coach about the matter.
Jamie Kuntz, 18, was a linebacker for the North Dakota College of Science. During an away game, he suffered a concussion and was selected to sit out the rest of the game and videotape it from the press box. However, as he did so, at one point he and his homosexual boyfriend, a resident of Denver, Colorado, began kissing.
“Sometime during the third quarter, just in between plays, we kissed and they saw us and they got mad, I guess,” Kuntz told television station KVRR.
When Coach Chuck Parsons later inquired about the incident, Kuntz denied that he kissed the man, and claimed that it was just his grandfather.
Kuntz later texted Coach Parsons and came clean.
Later, the linebacker was expelled from the team. Kuntz states that he believes it is because he is homosexual.
“I think I got kicked off because I’m gay,” he said. “It had nothing to do with lying. People on the football team lie all the time. I know it wasn’t right to lie and I shouldn’t have lied but I did.”
Parsons, however, outlined that Kuntz was released from the team for violating the rules.
“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,” the letter to Kuntz stated.
Atheist Dan Savage, who is most known for criticizing the Bible at a high school in Seattle earlier this year as dozens of students walked out in protest, is said to be the first to publicly express support for Kuntz.
“I’m angry too. Impulsively making out with your boyfriend in a press box isn’t the best way for a gay college athlete to come out to his teammates. But Kuntz’s impulsiveness–or Kuntz’s recklessness–is understandable. He is a teenager,” he wrote in a recent article. “It’s hard to feel anything but anger for Kuntz’s boyfriend. The elder man’s reckless disregard for his Kuntz’s future, to say nothing of Kuntz’s physical safety, is much harder to excuse.”
Professional football players have also written positive messages to Kuntz, including Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbedejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
“[K]eep your head up. Only you can live your life, no one else,” Kluwe reportedly Tweeted to Kuntz.
However, some of the students at the North Dakota College of Science have expressed disapproval of Kuntz’ actions.
“Yeah, it was definitely too far what they did. They could’ve handled it a lot differently,” remarked Jordan Fowler to KVRR.
“It wasn’t appropriate,” added Myrdette Kramer. “He shouldn’t be doing that, especially when he was on duty, and he should’ve been doing his job instead of worrying about the gentleman next to him.”
After being expelled from the football program, Kuntz withdrew from the college altogether.