A gay football player for North Dakota State College of Sciences says that although his coach said he was forced to discipline him for “lying”, he thinks he was suspended from the team simply because he had the audacity to kiss his boyfriend at a game.
18-year old Jamie Kuntz sat out the game because of a concussion, but was up in the stands cheering on his team with his much-older boyfriend–who is 65–and when they got swept up in the moment, a very public kiss led to him telling the coach that his boyfriend was his grandfather.
“People around here aren’t exposed to it,” Kuntz said of his sexual preference. “People expect gays to be flamboyant, not football players.”
Kuntz later regretted his lie and came clean to school faculty, which resulted in getting cut from the team. In his dismissal letter, coach Chuck Parsons wrote, “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 think it’s so simple, however, and said if he’d been with a woman in the stands that night, the outcome would have been very different.
“If it was an older woman, I would have probably been congratulated for it from my teammates,” he said.
Although he clearly thinks the school has chosen to make the wrong decision, Kuntz isn’t seeking to gain anything by telling his story. He says the incident caused him to come out to his mother, who has been supportive, and that he will most likely pursue a football career at a different school.