North Dakota State College of Science may be a small junior college, but it finds itself embroiled in scandal after head coach Chuck Parsons dismissed linebacker Jamie Kuntz for being gay. Or at least that’s what everyone’s assuming, even if the coach chalks it up to a case of lying instead.
NDSCS was in Pueblo, Colorado, for a game against Snow College, and Kuntz, who was previously diagnosed with a concussion, was not dressed to play. That’s when the “incident,” if we can even call it that, went down.
Via The Stranger:
“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.'”
Alright, maybe not the smartest move, hanging out with a significant other while on duty for the team. But it’s a tisk-tisk foul, maybe a slap on the wrist at best. And then everything spiraled out of control.
“The next morning Kuntz’s coach called him for a meeting.
‘He said he didn’t care what people did in their personal lives,’ recalls Kuntz, ‘but it was a big mistake to do that on a football trip. I said, yeah, I made a big mistake and I apologized again for lying. Then he handed me a letter and said he was kicking me off the team because what I did was ‘detrimental’ to the team and I was a ‘distraction.”
The coach made a big point of emphasizing that it was due to this conduct (supposedly) detrimental to the team, but most have seen through this facade and chalk it up to a simple case of homophobia. Outsports in partiuclar is outraged, and had this to say about the incident.
“Kissing someone during a game isn’t a distraction unless it’s a ‘gay kiss.’ And even if it were a distraction, a slap on the wrist is more than enough to get the point across. Kicking him off the team for such a minor offense comes from one place and one place only: homophobia.”
It’s hard to argue otherwise, especially in light of other facts of the case, including multiple players with arrest records and other shenanigans on their rap sheets. For every step forward we take in ridding the homophobic outlook of sports as a whole, incidents such as these keep popping up. If Kuntz kisses a woman, are we having the same conversation?
The coach, understandably, has backpedaled into complete denial mode. Maybe he really isn’t homophobic (however unlikely that seems), and maybe he thought this was some twisted form of equal rights by sanctioning a player regardless of his sexual orientation. In any case, the ship can’t be righted until Kuntz is allowed back on the team. Though, it’s hard to imagine he’d want to play for that coach ever again.