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Jamie Kuntz, North Dakota Football Player Kicked Off Team for Being Gay, Talks About Life Since Being Outed: VIDEO


Earlier this week I posted about Jamie Kuntz, a North Dakota college football player who was kicked off his team after teammates saw him kissing his boyfriend in a press box at an away game.

Kuntz sits down with SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson for his first on-camera interview to talk about the incident and what his life has been like since he was outed. Nelson also talks to his mom, the school's athletic director Stu Engen, people in Jamie's town, and some of his teammates.

Writes Nelson:

Many of them are frustrated, upset with what they perceive as an attack on the school, and an unfair labeling of it as a homophobic place.

'I'm friends with Jamie,' said Trevon Money, a defensive end, "but you came here to play football. You didn't come here to do other things in the crowd." Spending 48 hours in the middle of a political, emotional and media firestorm, I got a glimpse into what happens when an athlete is outed in small-town North Dakota, and how not only the community reacts, but how the world watches.

Watch Nelson's excellent piece, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "'I'm friends with Jamie,' said Trevon Money, a defensive end, "but you came here to play football. You didn't come here to do other things in the crowd."

    Yeah, I've never seen a HS or college player smooch with his GF on the sidelines or check out the cheerleaders or interact with the fans.

    What a load of BS.

    Posted by: James | Sep 15, 2012 5:19:24 PM

  2. Living in North Dakota is like living in the 1940's. I fear for the safety of the gay kid and wish him the best. It clearly shows that the school doesn't think that they did anything wrong. I wish that both parties could meet in the middle and teach the entire community that this is a inclusive school and regardless of student's sexual orientation, the school will do what's right for the coummunity. If they don't come with some type of mutual understanding: imagine the message they are sending to future gay kids in that school and to the state of North Dakota.

    Posted by: Josh | Sep 15, 2012 5:21:59 PM

  3. James is right. Small town, small minded double standard. What this kid does in his personal life that isn't illegal or immoral is his own business. And gay people showing affection is NOT immoral.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Sep 15, 2012 5:24:59 PM

  4. Uh, his "boyfriend" is **65 years old** Can we talk about that please? Am I the only one who thinks this kid, who lives in a remote podunk cowtown, is being sorely taken advantage of by some sleazy old creep who is probably fronting himself as someone who "understands" him? Jesus, this has "transference" written all over it. I feel bad for this kid's mother, she must be beside herself.

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Sep 15, 2012 5:27:26 PM

  5. I feel sorry for this kid. What he did was clearly not the brightest but I'm still unsure of why he was kicked off this team. The term "distraction" isn't enough. Because by that standard, any student who excels in his sport and gets enormous prss coverage or adulation would fall into the same catagory.

    This was the convergence of a lot of pieces of a disaster...from bad judgement on his part, to ignorance, to fear, to overreaction, to the mentality of a small town in a phobic state, to the rules of a small university.

    I hope he finds a place to play football. He seems like a bright, together young man. But next time I hope he's smarter about the things he does when he's supposed to be doing something else.

    Posted by: Bart | Sep 15, 2012 5:30:07 PM

  6. I was always attracted to older men growing up. My father was killed when I was 8. This too shall pass, now that I am in my mid 40s, I find myself with younger guys, 20-30s. I know he probably thinks he is in love, but didn't we all, when we were that age. I am ok with the age difference, let time take it's course and leave them alone.

    Posted by: BEWILDERBEAST | Sep 15, 2012 5:33:01 PM

  7. Mr. Engen is lying just as much as Jamie did. Jamie though had the good sense to take responsibility for his lie. When are you Mr Engen going to take responsibility for your prejudice? BTW that 65 year old BF/EX is another coward.

    Posted by: Gast | Sep 15, 2012 5:37:24 PM

  8. @NAUGHTYLOLA - Age is not the issue. He wouldn't be kicked off the team for kissing a older woman, would he? Quit trying to change the subject.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Sep 15, 2012 5:38:11 PM

  9. "You didn't come here to do other things in the crowd."

    Love it; even in the midst of a homophobic shizstorm, they continue to find ways of being homophobic. Let's use the same tool of measurement for everyone and see if anyone is left standing.

    @NaughtyLola, yes, you are the only one today willing to voice your ageism & expose your obviously very small world. I've dated older & younger... I promise you, older is A LOT more interesting.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Sep 15, 2012 5:41:15 PM

  10. I wish some football players from other colleges would kiss their girl at a game and ask publicly if that was alright!! Time to call on our allies to make a statement!

    Posted by: Patrick | Sep 15, 2012 5:53:23 PM

  11. What he did was wrong -- he was on the team's time, so he shouldn't have been making out with his boyfriend -- but being kicked off the team and more or less forced to withdraw from the school is *totally out of proportion* to what he did.

    Others on that team got caught drinking underage and had many other infractions, yet some of them weren't even punished, or given more than a slap on the wrist, even though what they did was against the law.

    Appropriate punishments for what he did could have been a frank conversation about appropriate actions when on team time, extra workouts/laps around the field, being suspended for a quarter of a game or even an entire game, or some combination of the above.

    Kicking him off the team is way out of line and totally homophobic. I guarantee other players on that time have kissed their girlfriends on team time and never even been punished for it -- people wouldn't have even questioned it. Period.

    On the bus, in the locker room, getting ready for the game, etc. etc. etc. Kissing while filming a game may be a bit worse than that, because he was doing a job, but it's still similar and, again, kicking him off the team is so out of proportion to the infraction that it screams of homophobia.

    Posted by: Ryan | Sep 15, 2012 5:55:18 PM

  12. Yeah they kicked him out because he was gay, but I'm pretty sure it didn't help that his bf is 65 years old! Hell if he was kissing a 65 yr old lady I'm pretty sure a lot of people would have been grossed out too!

    Posted by: J. Dredd | Sep 15, 2012 5:58:26 PM

  13. Regarding the creepy old man.... Back when I was a teen, most of the guys I would get with like 25-30. It was much easier to hook up with them. They were gay. Not trying to figure out their sexuality, not going to freak out the next day, not going to suddenly turn into macho dude "i was so drunk last night". There was also the fear of approaching realtinships or sex with people at my school or in my crowd. Not just that they might reject me or freak but that it would a drama all over the school I would have to live with for the next few years.

    So if North Dakota is as empty and backward as we imagine, this guy could have been a "safe" choice for a sports guy.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Sep 15, 2012 6:01:20 PM

  14. Such draconian punishment on a kid for some harmless lie about some "distraction" is truly of biblical proportion.

    Posted by: simon | Sep 15, 2012 6:13:46 PM

  15. Sadly in hicksville this is how they react. I would transfer to another college where he will be respected.

    Posted by: Eric | Sep 15, 2012 6:32:07 PM

  16. To all the naysayers: I defy you to find a single instance of a **45-year** age difference that does not involve some serious psychological issues on both sides.

    I'm happy to "change the subject" -- because I think the real subject is that some kid who believes himself to be completely isolated is being taken advantage of by someone his grandfather's age. Dirty old men are dirty old men; suddenly its OK if they're gay? Is that really the hill you want to die on? If a 65-year-old woman were throwing a leg over him, people would be equally flipped out by it.

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Sep 15, 2012 6:32:15 PM

  17. Nice video with good coverage of important aspects of this incident. I think, however, the bottom line is contained in that line spoken at the end by his former team make when asked if Jamie should play football again somewhere else: "Well, yeah--why not?" If that kid and the others photographed with him weren't bent out of shape in Dakota then it isn't just here in NYC, on "the other coast" and in big cities that things have changed. I thank God for it.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Sep 15, 2012 6:38:38 PM

  18. @ Naughtylola:

    He was not kicked off the team because of the age difference. Though it could be an interesting topic to discuss, it is not the issue here.

    This is about homophobia and double standards. Diversions will not help.

    Posted by: Tanoka | Sep 15, 2012 6:49:51 PM

  19. @NAUGHTYLOLA - That's a lot of prejudice coming from something describing itself as "naughty". I see you've brought your baggage to the airport, but we're under no obligation to inspect it.

    "Serious psychological issues"? Honey, love is a serious psychological issue, too. Do you condemn that? [probably, yes]

    "Dirty old men"? Says who? You've never met (or even seen) the man so --- aside from consulting your own demons --- how would you know?

    "the hill you want to die on"? Please, a little less drama, your highness.

    Seek professional help.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Sep 15, 2012 6:50:19 PM

  20. F*ck no.

    Posted by: Pommie | Sep 15, 2012 6:52:29 PM

  21. I don't necessarily think that just because there's a huge age difference therefore, it means that his bf was taking advantage of him.
    Always remember, love knows no boundaries afterall that's the basis of our all arguments in the fight of equality.

    Posted by: Pommie | Sep 15, 2012 7:02:09 PM

  22. Thanks, 'Stasia... I was too bored to respond again, but you hit all the points nicely.


    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Sep 15, 2012 7:04:23 PM

  23. Yes like poor Nick Gruber... being taken advatage of by all those dirty old men.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Sep 15, 2012 7:06:00 PM

  24. I agree with NaughtyLola. I know the kid is 18, but 65? There is something wrong there. BTW...where the hell is the 65 year old "boyfriend" in all this? Shouldn't he be standing up for Jamie?

    Posted by: Geoff M | Sep 15, 2012 7:18:42 PM

  25. Yes, he was probably a bit out of line to do that during a game, but also yes, the disciplinary action was WAY out of proportion.

    Regarding the age difference, I think it calls for prudence rather than harsh judgment. The 65-year-old isn't necessarily a pervert, but there are some nigh unavoidable issues when the younger partner is still in the 18-25 age group.

    @Daniel Berry, thank you for pointing out a silver lining in the reactions. I think what you say could be true and is quite moving.

    Posted by: C | Sep 15, 2012 7:26:40 PM

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