Controversy surrounds gay football player getting kicked off team
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 15:09
Amid all the controversy surrounding the NDSU football team, the national attention has shifted to a school just 45-miles south of Fargo.
The media is now following the NDSCS Wildcat football team, located in Wahpeton, N.D., very closely. We’re talking big-time media here. Like ESPN media.
Jamie Kuntz was kicked off the Wildcat team by head coach Chuck Parsons after Kuntz was seen kissing his boyfriend in the press box during a game in Colorado, and then denying it. Kuntz was videotaping the game because a concussion injury prevented him from being on the field
Kuntz eventually admitted to his coach that he was gay and that was his boyfriend in the press box with him. Parsons dismissed Kuntz from the team the day after saying his actions were detrimental to the team.
And then, all hell broke loose.
“He was kicked off the team for being gay? That’s ridiculous!”
That was the immediate assumption made by practically everyone. That assumption is absolutely false. Coach Parsons booted Kuntz because he lied. Parsons has the right to do that. The thing is, Parsons has created an absolute whirlwind of controversy, and the nation is taking notice. ESPN Outside The Lines will be in Wahpeton covering the story.
I grew up in Breck-Wahp. Stuff like this just doesn’t happen in the Twin Towns. Parsons is well known by the citizens and many know he is not the man to punish someone judgmentally.
But the way he handled this situation is certainly a cause for controversy.
Immediately after being kicked off the team, Kuntz claimed the reason was because he was gay. And from that moment, I believe Parsons knew he slipped up.
If Kuntz were seen kissing a girl, would such a punishment be handed out? Is it because no one knew Kuntz was gay, and this perhaps shocked the coach?
Kicking a player off the team for lying is unheard of. Kicking a player off the team for lying about kissing his boyfriend is, well, also unheard of. This was a new situation for Parsons. And I believe his decision was a bad one.
He has dug himself into a hole that will almost be impossible to get out of. Gay activist are jumping at this situation. The whole “gays aren’t treated equally” idea is apparently true in this situation. A player wouldn’t even be suspended if he scored a touchdown, ran into the crowd, kissed his girlfriend, and then ran back to the sidelines.
Kuntz wasn’t kicked off the team for being gay. No, but his punishment was harsher because he was gay.
One thing that isn’t talked about much is the fact that his boyfriend is 65-years old. As a coach, you don’t ever think you’ll have to deal with such a thing. With the whole Sandusky scandal, a coach would maybe panic a little and not know what to make of the situation. Parsons had a day to think about the situation though, and his decision was the wrong one on every level.
The whole thing is completely unfair to Kuntz. Saying he was kicked off the team for strictly being gay is also unfair though.
A simple slap on the wrist would have been just fine. There would be no ESPN trucks driving through a town with a total of five stoplights. There would be no news stories or headlines.
Everything would have been fine if Parsons did the right thing. But I suppose that’s the case with every controversy. Maybe, just maybe, something can be learned from this.