North Dakota College Football Player Kicked Off Team After Kissing His Boyfriend

Dan Savage reports on a North Dakota college student who was kicked off his football team after players caught him kissing his (much older) boyfriend in a press box.

KuntzJamie Kuntz, a student at North Dakota State College of Science, a small junior college in Wapheton, North Dakota, was planning to transfer on a football scholarship to a larger school from which he had offers. That's probably not happening now.

Savage writes:

Those plans fell apart after Kuntz traveled to a football game against Snow College in Pueblo, Colorado, on Labor Day Weekend. Kuntz had a concussion and wasn’t supposed to go to Pueblo but at the last minute Kuntz was tapped to film the game. Kuntz’s boyfriend, who lives in Denver, met Kuntz in Pueblo and sat with him in the otherwise deserted press box while Kuntz filmed the game.

"We were getting destroyed," says Kuntz, "the game was a total blowout. And I guess I got bored and so I kissed my boyfriend and some of my teammates saw us.”

After the game—just before a 15-hour bus ride back to North Dakota—NDSCS’s head football coach, Chuck Parsons, pulled Kuntz off the bus and confronted him. Kuntz denied kissing the man with him in the press box and he denied being gay. Kuntz was on Twitter for most of the bus ride back to Wapheton. He sent some tweets that alarmed his roommate—Kuntz hinted at being suicidal—and the police were called. After the police determined that he was not a suicide risk, Kuntz sent his coach a text message saying that he was gay and that he had kissed the man who was with him in the press box. Kuntz also apologized to his coach for lying.

The next morning Kuntz’s coach called him for a meeting.

Kuntz was thrown off the team. Two days later he withdrew from school and now lives with his mom, who learned he was gay as the episode unfolded when Kuntz changed his Twitter profile from "football player" to "gay football player". Savage called the school and offers some interviews with other players on the team. He also published part of the letter from the football coach and it's pretty obvious that homophobia is at work all the way around.

But there's another issue in play, and that's the age of Kuntz's boyfriend:

One detail about Jamie Kuntz' story makes it highly unlikely that he will become a poster child for young gay athletes: Kuntz’s boyfriend is 65 years old.

“When my coach pulled me off the bus that night and asked me who that was with me in the press box,” Kuntz says, “I said, ‘Oh, that was my grandpa up there with me. I wasn't kissing my grandpa, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

Kuntz says that he has always been attracted to older men. Kuntz was 18 when he met his boyfriend online and Kuntz says he was the aggressor.

“I definitely pursued him," says Kuntz. "He’s a great guy. I love him."

Savage adds:

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.

Read the full story HERE, and there's plenty more that I didn't include.

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  1. A kiss is just a kiss unless the anti-gay homophobic Christians are watching, which is none of their business. When are we going to kick these people out of our sex lives where they do not belong? That goes for you heterosexuals too, because these fanatical Christians want to control your sex lives and your bodies too.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 10, 2012 8:05:52 PM

  2. Ugh, why do these older gusy ALWAYS have to date these young kids ? What is wrong with them ?

    I think the school has no right to throw the kid off his team for being gay or for whatever other reason they invent. He's gay. Get over it. If he was good enough for a football scholarship before then he's still good enough.

    If the boy was 18 when he met the older man then he is legally entitled to do that even if most of us don't approve. That should not have any bearing on his scholarship either.

    We need to start a campaign to get this kid his scholarship back. He's too young to be screwed over. We need to make sure he still gets his education.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Sep 10, 2012 8:15:45 PM

  3. 65 years old? He's taking advantage, and it's sickening.

    Posted by: Byron St. James | Sep 10, 2012 8:18:30 PM

  4. just read the part about his man's age and: wow!! KINKY!!! i love it. let your freak flag fly high, man. we're all freaks in our own way. hard for any of us to know for sure, but sounds like a cute relationship. more power to them.

    Posted by: redball | Sep 10, 2012 8:21:54 PM

  5. Really unfortunate surname.

    Posted by: DanSwon | Sep 10, 2012 8:23:47 PM

  6. Savage's comments read like homophobia or ageism... take your pic.

    If not for homophobia, there's nothing alarming about a kiss between lovers. The age difference is a personal issue, and hardly a first- straight or gay.

    Up until this incident, these were private people, who should be allowed privacy in their own life choices.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Sep 10, 2012 8:27:09 PM

  7. Will Dan Savage just go away already?

    Posted by: John | Sep 10, 2012 8:28:49 PM

  8. Really disappointed in Dan Savage that he turned this into a "blame-the-old-boyfriend" narrative... What the hell does the man's age have to do with any of this?

    Posted by: Feral | Sep 10, 2012 8:30:56 PM

  9. oh, wow, so here comes the anti-elderly backlash.

    well, the young man DID say he was the aggressor so...not sure what the problem is here.

    when i was a 16-year-old PYT full of hormones & curiosity, i too was the aggressor when i was lucky enough to (carefully) find a 31-year-old to show me the ropes and man did he do a great job. my first mentor in gay s*x [at work so not writing it out]. we still talk from time to time, 15 years later.

    at a time in your life when u have no one to come out to, having an older gay mentor can be a wonderful, life-changing experience--as long as you pick wisely. (as for me, i talked w/ the guy for months before deciding to finally meet up; back then, in the mid-90s, there were tons of stories of teens being abducted or even killed by predators they'd first met online--so i was acutely aware of the dangers and took steps to prevent them).

    Posted by: redball | Sep 10, 2012 8:32:21 PM

  10. 65 year old boyfriend?..that's just nasty

    Posted by: Marty | Sep 10, 2012 8:35:36 PM

  11. I'm sorry, what day and age is this? People are still being kicked off sports teams for being gay? What assbackward place is this? FIGHT THE POWER.

    Posted by: Bob | Sep 10, 2012 8:41:21 PM

  12. I love older men, but damn 65? That's a bit too old.

    Posted by: J. Dredd | Sep 10, 2012 8:41:25 PM

  13. Guys: Stop paying attention to the "older boyfriend" piece.

    Call the following three individuals and ask for the resignation and/or termination of Chuck Parsons and the restoration of Jamie Kuntz to the football team.

    Chuck Parsons: 701-671-2447

    His boss, Stu Engel: 701-671-2446

    The president of NDSCS: 701-671-2221

    This guy Jamie is one of our own and we should come to his defense -- not leave him stranded.

    Posted by: Jeff | Sep 10, 2012 8:49:21 PM

  14. Look, I understand why some people might be leery of an 18 year old dating someone who is 47 years older than he is. I have my own doubts about it, but we as a society have chosen 18 as the age of consent for sexual activity, so no matter what you think of his choices, the relationship is apparently consensual and neither Jamie nor the older man broke any laws. Its no more OR less unseemly than Hugh Hefner with his "Playmates" or any of thousands of "trophy wives" married to some codger.

    Jamie is an adult in all ways except drinking laws so while you might not agree with him, he has the right to do what he's doing.

    His dismissal from the team was motivated by homophobia and the gay community should stand up for him. It's pure BS that because he left the school the school can't comment- he was a student when these things happened and that's what matters.

    I do think the older man bears some responsibility here. Like Jamie I was sexually active at a young age and most of partners were older than I was. But while I was naive I was no blushing innocent. If there is ANY rule that should govern a legal, consensual cross-generational relationship it's close to the Hippocratic Oath doctors take, "First, do no harm." The guiding principle should be for the older partner to leave the younger one in a better state than he found him.

    I am considerably younger than the older man in this story and I cannot imagine pursuing an 18 year old. Heck, 35 is my current cut-off age! So while I don't approve of the relationship from a certain standpoint, it's entirely legal and consensual so what I think doesn't really matter that much. And this young man should suffer because he kissed his boyfriend, beyond whatever minor punishment he might get for lying. And please. Don't tell that EVERY player on that team hasn't lied to the coach in one way or another, from how they're doing in their classes to whether they drink alcohol.

    Posted by: Caliban | Sep 10, 2012 9:01:30 PM

  15. 65 ewes! Date within your own age group people no more than 10 years older or 10 years younger, the last thing we need is these chicken hawks messin things up for us. But still the football coach should be fired and the school punished.

    Posted by: Lee | Sep 10, 2012 9:14:43 PM

  16. My impression of what Savage meant by the "elder man's reckless disregard for Kuntz's future" was that the older guy didn't consider the danger he was putting Kuntz in by making out with him at a football game when it's clear that Kuntz was not out to anyone on the team. That does strike me as reckless disregard coming from a 65 year old who has probably been around the block once or twice and should know better.

    And before you call me ageist... I have a thing for older guys too (maybe not 47 years older, but to each his own). I just expect a 65 year old to have more foresight than a teenager does and I think he's therefore obliged to *use* that foresight. This is a "campsite rule" situation. If you don't know what I mean, google it.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo (formerly RyanInSacto) | Sep 10, 2012 9:18:31 PM

  17. By the way, "reckless" behavior on the part of the older guy aside, this is still completely wrong on the part of the coach and Kuntz should not have been kicked off the team, period.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo (formerly RyanInSacto) | Sep 10, 2012 9:19:46 PM

  18. It gets better?

    Posted by: steve | Sep 10, 2012 9:22:01 PM

  19. Pathetic to attack the couple, rather than the homophobes.

    Posted by: Randy | Sep 10, 2012 9:28:07 PM

  20. Ryan, the article quotes Jamie as saying that he was the one who initiated the kiss because he was bored with the game, so I don't see how the older boyfriend was responsible for what happened.

    Posted by: Robert K. | Sep 10, 2012 9:32:34 PM

  21. Sorry but I'm having a hard time focusing on the age discrepancy between these two when the real issue is homophobia.

    Posted by: daws | Sep 10, 2012 9:46:57 PM

  22. HAHAHA. Look at some of these gays telling another who to love. I love older men. He loves way older men. Who cares.

    Posted by: Malaysian Ho | Sep 10, 2012 9:53:19 PM

  23. The kid was 18 and of legal age. It's nobody business if he decides to date an older man.

    For Savage to blame the boyfriend is just another example of blaming the victim.

    The coach and the school deserve condemnation for sticking their noses into this kid's personal life. The homophobe flage flies high at this school.

    We should support the kid (and his bf), and not become part of the school's obvious prejudice and bigotry.

    Posted by: Continuum | Sep 10, 2012 9:53:34 PM

  24. Are we sure the 65 year old wasn't that lecherous old queen Jake Cruise?

    Posted by: Beef and Fur | Sep 10, 2012 9:56:53 PM

  25. This is homophobia and should be treated as such.

    We've been given no concrete evidence that the older partner initiated anything.

    And while it's lovely to make pronouncements about age brackets, I see plenty of personal ads from guys in their 30s, 40s and 50s who will date NO ONE older than them, but are willing to go a decade or more younger. Who are we to judge if someone is attracted in the other direction? And why do I think there wouldn't be as strong a reaction if the older partner were 35?

    Let's support the kid. He needs some support.

    Posted by: Ronny | Sep 10, 2012 10:04:20 PM

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