Jamie Kuntz, a freshman linebacker at the North Dakota State College of Sciences in Wahpeton, North Dakota, was kicked off the football team for kissing his older boyfriend during a game over Labor Day weekend, Fox Sports reports. However, coach Chuck Parsons sent Kuntz a letter saying he was being removed from the team, not for the kiss, but for lying about it.
The 18-year-old was on a partial football scholarship but left the school this month after being dismissed from the team. Kuntz said, “Football didn’t work out, so there was no reason to stay.”
Kuntz and his boyfriend, who is 65, were in the press box at the game against Snow College in Pueblo, Colorado. Kuntz had suffered a concussion and was taping the game for his team, which was down more than 40 points when “the kiss just happened.” A teammate saw the two kiss and told coaches. Kuntz claimed the man he kissed was his grandfather when Parson asked him about it on the bus ride back to North Dakota but later admitted he lied.
“People around here aren’t exposed to [homosexuality,]” Kuntz said. “People expect gays to be flamboyant, not football players.”
In a September 3 letter, Parson said Kuntz was dismissed from the team under the category “conduct deemed detrimental to the team” in the team player’s manual, which cites “lying to coaches, teachers, or other school staff” as a reason for dismissal. Parson said:
“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.”
School officials are investigating whether this is the first instance of someone being kicked off the team for lying. Kuntz said he doesn’t believe that was the real reason. He said:
“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.”
Do you think Jamie Kuntz should have been kicked off the team?