Gay College Football Player Kicked Off Team After Kissing Boyfriend — Is It Fair?
Jamie Kuntz, a freshman linebacker, wasn’t able to play in North Dakota State College of Sciences first football game of the year because of a concussion. Instead the 18-year-old watched the game from the press box, and it was there where Kuntz, who is gay, shared a kiss with his boyfriend.
Another player saw the smooch and reported it to the team’s coach, Chuck Parsons. But when Parsons confronted Kuntz about the incident he said his boyfriend — who is 65 — was his grandfather.
However a few days later Kuntz began to feel bad about lying to his coach and fessed up. At which point he was kicked off the squad for “conduct deemed detrimental to the team.”
“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,” Parsons wrote in the dismissal letter to Kuntz. “Any conduct by any member of the program that would cause such a distraction during a game would warrant the same consequences.”
It is Kuntz’s belief that he was kicked off the team simply for being gay.
Of course, we can’t really determine if Kuntz’s allegation is true unless there was similar case of player making out with his girlfriend in the press box when he was supposed to be watching the game. (And, also, the rather jarring age difference between Kuntz and his boyfriend might also come into play as a “distraction.”)
Nevertheless, this serves as a reminder of the challenges gay athletes face. And it also helps to explain why we have yet to see a prominent male team athlete come out as gay even though the statistics suggest there must be some out there.