(via Yahoo Sports)
Jamie Kuntz started to tear up when he was told that he had been dismissed from the North Dakota State College of Science football team on Sept. 3; in the freshman linebacker’s mind, he had done nothing wrong.
But two days earlier, Kuntz’s coach, Chuck Parsons, had pulled him off the team bus and asked him about a “distraction” that had occurred in the press box during the Wildcats’ blowout loss to Snow College during the Mile High Shootout in Pueblo, Colo.
By the end of the day on Sept. 3, Kuntz was packing up his locker and he believes it’s because of his sexual orientation.
Kuntz, 18, had been injured much of fall camp and had only practiced a couple days prior to the trip. So, the coaching staff asked him to film the game from the press box. While in the press box, Kuntz invited his 65-year-old boyfriend, who lives in Colorado, to join him to watch the game. During the second half of the 63-17 blowout, Kuntz took a minute away from the camera to kiss his boyfriend. The kiss was caught by some of Kuntz’s teammates and word started to spread.
Up until that point, Kuntz had hidden the fact that he was gay.
“He pulls me off the bus to talk to me and he said, ‘What was going on in the press box?'” Kuntz told Yahoo! Sports. “So I was like, ‘What are you talking about? I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I was playing stupid. And he goes, ‘People said that you were distracting them the whole game.’
“At that point I kind of knew, but when he said the whole game, I felt like he was trying to put the loss on me. When you guys lose by 40 points, there’s no way a distraction like that is going to throw a whole team off in the second half. So, when he said that, I was like, ‘Oh nothing, it was just my grandpa up there with me.'”
Kuntz eventually came clean with his coach when the team got back to Wahpeton, N.D., and apologized for lying. He said he expected a punishment, but didn’t think he would be dismissed.
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