Jamie Kuntz used to play football at North Dakota State College of Sciences before he was seen kissing his boyfriend. The freshman linebacker says he was basically kicked off the team for being gay, although head coach Chuck Parsons says it was because he lied.
The 18-year-old Kuntz says he was in the press box with his 65-year-old boyfriend at a game against Show College in Colorado over Labor Day weekend. Kuntz was videotaping his team’s 63-17 blowout when he says the kiss “just happened.” A teammate supposedly saw the kiss and told the coach, but Kuntz lied and said the man was his grandfather.
“People around here aren’t exposed to it,” Kuntz explained. “People expect gays to be flamboyant, not football players. I lied.”
Kuntz says he later felt guilty about lying so he told the truth. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the dismissal letter sent by Parsons to Kuntz informing him that he had lost his partial scholarship as a result of “conduct deemed detrimental to the team” and for violating clearly stated team rules about lying to coaches, teachers or other school staff.
“I know if it was a girl in the press box, or even an older woman, nothing would have happened,” Kuntz said. “If it was an older woman, I would have probably been congratulated for it from my teammates.”
School officials are now looking into the case, and North Dakota State College of Science president John Richman says he believes it is being handled “fairly and consistently” by the athletic department.
Kuntz mother, Rita Kuntz, says Jamie told her he was gay at the same time he told her he had been kicked off the team. While she has accepted his sexuality and believes what the team did was wrong, she doesn’t agree with her son having a 65-year-old boyfriend and believes the older man is taking advantage of Jamie.
Photo via Jamie Kuntz’s Facebook page