A gay football player kicked off his college team after being caught kissing his older boyfriend has found support from a number of sympathetic individuals, including a few NFL players.
Jamie Kuntz was a linebacker on the North Dakota College of Science’s football team, but was kicked off the team shortly after he was spotted kissing his 65-year-old boyfriend during a game in which the player was injured and in the press booth. When Kuntz’s coach asked about the incident, the gay football player lied and said it was only his grandfather, but later came clean.
Coach Chuck Parsons said the gay football player was kicked off for a violation of team rules, but Kuntz said he believes his sexual orientation played a role.
“I don’t know if [Parsons is] homophobic,” Kuntz told Yahoo. “I can’t tell in his heart, but what happened, in my experience, I was getting cheated.”
But since his dismissal from the team, Kuntz has seen an outpouring of support from all corners of the globe, City Pages noted. The issue was first brought to national attention by columnist Dan Savage, and since then many supporters have stepped forward to speak out for the gay football player.
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. 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.
Since Savage’s column, Jamie Kuntz’s Twitter page has lit up with messages of support. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbedejo sent a message of support, as did Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
@jamie_kuntz No problem, keep your head up. Only you can live your life, no one else.
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) September 11, 2012
Both Kluwe and Ayanbedejo are seen as the NFL’s biggest advocates for the gay community.
Meanwhile, the college gave its side of the story about why the gay football player was kicked off the team, WDAY reported. After Kuntz said that if he had kissed a girl he would still be on the team, Athletic Director Stu Engen noted that sexual orientation never factored into the college’s decision.
“My conversation with Coach Parsons, we didn’t talk about other man’s alleged to be 65 years of age. Our conversation consisted of if this was a heterosexual incident, would we come to the same conclusion, and Coach Parsons answer was yes, Mr. Kuntz simply and plainly failed to perform his duties as assigned and was ongoing distraction to the game.”
Do you support Jamie Kuntz, the gay college football player.