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. Hot damn, Jamie Kuntz is HOT!!

    Hey Jamie...if you ever want to date a younger man (I'm 45), I'll be happy to send you a one way ticket to the city where I live. ;-)

    Posted by: LoveYoungerMEN | Sep 10, 2012 10:04:33 PM

  2. There is nothing worse than gay men telling others that an 18 year old loving a 65 year old is wrong. They're adults, it's consensual, no laws are broken and it's their own damn business. If you don't want someone forcing you to love or marry a woman, then don't pass judgment on this couple either.

    Posted by: belo | Sep 10, 2012 10:10:58 PM

  3. I'm not sure about the comment, "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." The original article sort of blamed the older guy, but quoted him as telling his younger friend that they shouldn't do it. A kiss happened anyway (apparently not anything else), so they are really blaming the older guy for not reacting quicker to a surge in his younger friend's hormones after his younger friend was warned. Also, it seems the younger guy initiated getting together with the older guy.

    Given that (i.e., assuming those reports are true and the whole story), I wouldn't call the older guy a "predator" or blame him for putting his friend's future at risk.

    I think the coaching staff should be blamed. Whatever excuse they make, the way they treated this individual was not consistent with how they treated other players, and prejudice seems to be the only plausible explanation.

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 10, 2012 10:13:10 PM

  4. They're both adults and can do as they please. Age is irrelevant. Anyone who says otherwise is bigot themselves.

    Posted by: Ken | Sep 10, 2012 10:18:56 PM

  5. I just finished sending an email to North Dakota College expressing my disgust at the coach's actions.

    Here's a link to their email addresses, should anyone else feel inclined to do the same.

    Posted by: Continuum | Sep 10, 2012 10:26:56 PM

  6. When is Savage going to no longer be given relevance for his hate speech? This story is chock full of ageist commentary. Love is love, and I'm sure Mr. Savage wouldn't call out someone like this if their age were, say cut by 40 years.

    In my opinion, Mr. Savage represents the worst parts of the upper-middle class white gay male portion of our community. Time and time again he has shown his colors. He has shown disdain and hatred for trans, bi, and older people.

    Is there any honest reason why we should allow such a pro-G but anti-LGBT person to represent us, on any level, when we have plenty of people who love all of our community. He has privilege, he's an A-gay, but he get's an F for actually helping advance equality, except for himself.

    Posted by: Peter Jenkins | Sep 10, 2012 10:30:08 PM

  7. Sometimes the comments on Towleroad revive my faith in the gay community - thanks again this time.

    Posted by: Markt | Sep 10, 2012 10:31:51 PM

  8. Sometimes the comments on Towleroad revive my faith in the gay community - thanks again this time.

    Posted by: Markt | Sep 10, 2012 10:31:52 PM

  9. The ageism of some posters here is beyond pathetic. You're lame, stupid and retarded. If I saw you in the street, I'd vomit on you.

    Posted by: jason | Sep 10, 2012 10:33:56 PM

  10. A lot of dumb reactionary comments from people who don't know what they're talking about. Whatever your (totally irrelevant) opinion about their relationship is, this guy has clearly been dropped because he's gay. That is homophobia.

    Posted by: DanSwon | Sep 10, 2012 10:34:46 PM

  11. 65yo "boyfriend" ahh that's a man an older man not a boy

    Posted by: megamike | Sep 10, 2012 10:36:19 PM

  12. I'm disgusted with the ageism coming from Savage and some of the comments here. Aren't those of us who are part of the LGBT community trying to get the idea across that anyone should feel free to love anyone? Some of the comments sound exactly like comments from people who are against gay marriage and even any gay relationships at all. This is shameful.

    Posted by: throwslikeagirl | Sep 10, 2012 10:39:59 PM

  13. 18 is an adult when I last checked and not a "teenager" --- come on people they go to war and vote ... they should be able to date people of whatever age they want ... and even kiss them in public

    Posted by: rjp3 | Sep 10, 2012 10:50:27 PM

  14. Dan Savage really dropped the ball on this one ...

    Posted by: rjp3 | Sep 10, 2012 10:51:03 PM

  15. I find the extreme age difference to be absolutely disgusting, but that's a side issue. I could comment more on that since I strongly object to it yet it's not really relevant here. It's clear that he wasn't booted from the team for dating a MUCH older person, which isn't against any official rules I know of anyways, but for the fact that this MUCH older person was in fact a man. That's homophobia and I hope they nail the coach and school for it.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Sep 10, 2012 10:51:32 PM

  16. The age thing should not be relevant, he was of legal age. But all I can say is, damn, when I'm 65 I hope I'm lucky enough to stumble across a kid like this.

    Posted by: Ken | Sep 10, 2012 11:02:36 PM

  17. When you are as good looking as Jamie Kunts, the future is bright, no matter a few small stumbles.

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 10, 2012 11:05:28 PM

  18. The ageism in these comments is disgusting. The ages of these friends is irrelevant. The discrimination and homophobia are not. File a lawsuit, Jamie, for all the money you need to finish college. Welcome to the out and proud world.

    Posted by: elangay | Sep 10, 2012 11:06:47 PM

  19. I am shocked by the blatant ageism here. I see very little light between what the Christians are saying about gay sex and what the ageist people on this post are saying. Gross too old/gross two men. You really have no right to judge what two adults do. Dan grow up and stop trying to make everyone conform to your idea of how people should act. Really an embarrassing article.

    Posted by: Joey | Sep 10, 2012 11:17:13 PM

  20. Wow! All the ageist bigotry being posted here. All I can say is that if you don't want to sleep with older men, then don't do so. To post that you are somehow disgusted with someone who likes older men is just as bigoted as the FRC or the AFA. Get a life. Get a brain. Get some empathy.

    Posted by: TomTallis | Sep 10, 2012 11:19:50 PM

  21. A suggestion to the guy who wrote, "I find the extreme age difference to be absolutely disgusting": the 18 year old football player apparently chased after the 65 year old guy, so why don't you express your opinion to the 18 year old football player in person?

    Hint - 18 year old football players generally do not take kindly to anyone trying to push them around. If you are lucky, all that will happen is that he'll tell you to go away, no doubt using much more colorful language. If you are not so lucky, make sure your medical insurance has been paid.

    Posted by: B | Sep 10, 2012 11:24:43 PM

  22. @ Lee - only 10 years? My late husband was a little over 15 years older than me. We were together for 28 wonderful years. I like older men - period. Of course, as every year passes, there are fewer and fewer older men.

    If a 65 year old man took up with an 18 year old girl, he would be getting slaps on the back. As long as the 18 year old is happy, it's only the couple's business.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Sep 10, 2012 11:38:09 PM

  23. Right on "B"! That was hilarious, and this string of comments on this heartbreaking story could use some funny right about now.

    Posted by: throwslikeagirl | Sep 10, 2012 11:42:43 PM

  24. Well, Mitt Romney is around 65, and I had a sex dream about him a few months ago that made my toes curl. (I'd never VOTE for him, but he's certainly a nice-looking man.) However, I'm 45, so that's only a 20-year difference.

    What the hell, they're both consenting adults with their eyes open, love is love. Jamie should be reinstate to the team, and he and his partner can go have a nice romantic dinner--at 4:30. (At least they'll be done before Jamie has practice.) :)

    Posted by: Dback | Sep 10, 2012 11:47:51 PM

  25. Is anyone here (assuming you're not 18 now) the same person that you were when you were 18? No, of course you're not. That's because 18 is completely different from 25, 35 or, certainly, 65. If you deny that, then you're denying reality and science as well. An 18 year old's brain is not even finished developing yet, which affects decision-making ability. "Recent studies show that neural insulation [which is important for mature decision making] isn't complete until the mid-20s." That quote is from an NPR article that you can find here:

    You can find the same kind of information from all kinds of legitimate sources if you bother to look for it. The fact is, while these two people have every right to be together, the 65 year old needs to take responsibility in questionable situations like making out at a football game – even if the younger man initiated it – when he surely knew the uproar it was going to cause in this young man's life. I'm sure he was not ignorant of the fact that, apparently, Kuntz was not out to anyone on the team including his coach.

    All of you who deny or ignore the responsibility that an older person has when engaging in a relationship with a younger person... well, I just don't know what to say to you except that I hope your judgment improves should you find yourself the elder in such a relationship. Equal rights does not mean that life becomes a free-for-all. We have responsibilities to each other and we most certainly have responsibilities to the young people in our community. If making this statement makes me "ageist" then so be it.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo (formerly RyanInSacto) | Sep 11, 2012 12:00:07 AM

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