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Monday, September 10, 2012

College Football Player Kicked Off Team After He Outs Himself During a Game

Posted by on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 2:22 PM

“I think it’s a transformational moment and seismic shift to see so many folks in the world of sports stepping up and speaking out in support of equality and fairness,” gay marriage advocate Brian Ellner told the New York Times this weekend. “The world has changed.”

Ellner was reacting to the pro-marriage-equality stances taken by two professional football players. Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality for years. But an open letter written by Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings defending Ayanbadejo against an attack from a Maryland state legislator appeared on Deadspin on Friday and quickly went viral. Ellner was quoted in a New York Times piece that ran on Saturday headlined “Players’ Support of Gay Marriage Alters N.F.L. Image.”

Jamie Kuntz was sitting at his mother’s house in Dickinson, North Dakota, when he read Kluwe’s letter. Kuntz is eighteen years old and has been playing football since he was eleven.

“I thought it was a real step forward,” Kuntz said of Kluwe. “Everyone feels that in football everyone is going to be completely uncomfortable with gay people. But people who play football are like normal people. They don’t care, so long as you can get the job done. Not all people in football are homophobic.”

Kuntz’s reaction startled me. Four days before Kluwe's letter blew up the Internet Kuntz was kicked off his college football team after he clumsily outed himself to his teammates and coaching staff.

Jamie Kuntz
  • Jamie Kuntz
Kuntz, who dreams of being a professional football player, had offers from a bigger state school but he chose North Dakota State College of Science, a small junior college in Wapheton, North Dakota, because NDSCS offered him a scholarship and the position he wanted to play.

“My plan was to play at NDSCS for one or two years and then transfer to a bigger school," says Kuntz.

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.

“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 letter, which Kuntz shared with me, is signed by NDSCS Head Football Chuck Parsons. It reads in part: “The head coach reserves the right to dismiss any team member for any conduct that is deemed detrimental to the team. This includes, but is not limited to, any criminal charges or convictions; violations of school policies, NDSCS athletic policies, or NDSCS Wildcat Football policies… Lying to Coaches, Teachers, or other school staff [constitute a violation].” The letter continues: “This decision was arrived at solely on the basis of your conduct during the football game… and because you choose not to be truthful with when I confronted you about whom else was in the box with you.”

Coach Parsons seems to be anticipating charges of homophobia when he emphasizes that Kuntz is being kicked off the team "solely on the basis" of his conduct at the game and lying about it.

"It's ludicrous to say Jamie's sexual orientation had nothing to do with his release from the team," said Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com, the online gay sports community. "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."

Other members of the team, according to Kuntz, have been caught drinking, a violation of team rules; one member, a minor, was detained by the police after being found in a 21-and-over club. Some members of the team have “criminal charges and convictions,” according to Kuntz, both misdemeanors and felonies. Another player had a house party that was shut down by the police in Wapheton.

“Nothing happened to him,” says Kuntz. “He’s still on the team. He played on Saturday. I don’t feel that I should’ve been kicked off the team for this. It was a kiss. It was a mistake, but it was just a kiss. We weren’t making out.”

At least one member of the football team at NDSCS agrees with Kuntz. (This team member didn’t want to be quoted by name for fear of damaging his relationship with the coaching staff.) “I didn’t see anything during that game,” the team member told me in a phone interview, “but my teammates told me they saw Jamie up in the press box with another guy and that they were doing stuff. From what I hear they’re saying Jamie got kicked off the team for lying. But if he broke a team rule about lying then I think a suspension should’ve been the punishment and not getting kicked off the team.”

Would the team have welcomed an openly gay member?

“It would take people some time to adjust," he said, "but guys who have been around it already accept it. It’s not an issue for me.”

Seeing no reason to stay at NDSCS—he was there to play football—Jamie Kuntz withdrew from NDSCS two days after Coach Parsons kicked him off the team. Kuntz is living at home with his mother. She found out her son is gay when Kuntz changed the bio on his Twitter account from "football player" to "gay football player."

Coach Parsons didn’t respond to numerous messages asking for his side of the story. And Barbara Spaeth-Baum, Director of College Relations and Marketing for North Dakota State College of Science, told me the school couldn’t comment. “The student that you are calling me about is no longer a student at NDSCS,” said Spaeth-Baum, “so we are not allowed to comment about anything regarding that person because that person is not a student of ours any longer. There’s almost nothing we can say.”

When I asked Spaeth-Baum to comment on current students—members of the football team who may have violated school policies without getting kicked off the team—Spaeth-Baum cut our conversation short. “That’s hearsay and that’s not admissible evidence in any court of law,” said Spaeth-Baum. “I don’t know anything regarding the student that you’re quoting. I can’t speak to that. I certainly don’t know that.”

When I asked if I could speak to Coach Parsons, Spaeth-Baum told me that the coach isn't a spokesperson for the college. The school's athletic director, Stu Engen, is allowed to speak to the media but, says Spaeth-Baum, would not be able to comment for the same reason she couldn't: Jamie Kuntz is no longer a student.

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."

"The age difference mucks up the story a lot," LZ Granderson, a senior writer at ESPN and a CNN contributor, wrote in an email. Granderson is gay and I contacted him about the story shortly after Kuntz got in touch with me. Granderson passed. A teenager football player with a 65-year-old boyfriend? "On the heels of the Sandusky trial and Penn State, that's a very high hurdle.... I'm sad for the kid but angry at the 65 year old who should have never put him in that position."

I'm angry too. 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.

"The age difference between Jamie and his boyfriend [probably] played a factor" in Kuntz being kicked off the team, observes Outsports.com's Cyd Zeiger. "The country, and in particular football, is on edge about this issue after the horror that Jerry Sandusky perpetrated on Penn State. What people don't want to talk about is the fact that people, gay and straight, of huge age gaps do fall in love and do have relationships. That dynamic can be scary for a coach, but at the end of the day it's none of his business."

Kuntz hopes people don't judge his boyfriend harshly. Older people can get carried away too. “And he was nervous about it,” says Kuntz. “When we were in the press box he kept saying, ‘We can’t do that up here.’ And then it just happened, out of nowhere. It just happened."

Kuntz says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next.

“This has thrown everything out the window,” said Kuntz. “I hope I can find another school. That’s what I’m worried about.”

jamiekuntz2.jpeg

 

Comments (100) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
I spoke too soon.
Posted by tkc on September 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM · Report this
2
Great reporting.
Posted by gloomy gus on September 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
3
"older people can get carried away too" my ASS. good lord. this man should be ASHAMED of himself. for crying out loud. is he prepared to pay this kid's way through college now that he cost him his scholarship?? this pisses me off so much.
Posted by martarose on September 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 4
So much here is weird, the 45 plus year age difference, the fact there is a college of science in North Dakota of all places. Brain can't process......brain breaking.... must watch a new episode of "Husbands" on Youtube right now!!
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on September 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
Really unfortunate. The young man made one bad choice. He shouldn't have to pay this high of a price. Not for a kiss. Not for lying about it either. Life is not fair. Junior college might help.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
6
If he has talent a junior college will take him in a heartbeat. And if he does well there then a promotion to a bigger school will happen. There's a lot of athletes that have to take that path. I wish him luck.
Posted by CbytheSea on September 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
"Memorial Day Weekend?" Do you mean "Labor Day Weekend?"
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
8
It it just me or are gay rights opponents easily "distracted" by homosexuals? It seems any time they want to say gay people can't do something it's because it's a "distraction". Maybe these people wouldn't be so distracted if they just came out of the closet.
Posted by Root on September 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 10
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.

Yeah. Doing so during a game when he was supposed to be "on the job" and then trying to deceive his coach makes this such an unfortunate test case. It probably doesn't help that he was asked to work while recovering from a concussion either.
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on September 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 9
Men 45 years my senior isn't my thing, but 16 is the age of consent in North Carolina, no? The age difference is not an issue here. If the boyfriend is employed by the college, that's a different story. Is he? No? Oh, well then. There's no reason either of them should have expected a kiss to get him kicked off the team and out of the school, even in North Dakota.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on September 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
artdyke 11
Jesus christ, why are we wasting an ounce of energy being mad at this older guy for kissing his boyfriend?! The age issue is irrelevent and they SHOULDN'T have HAD to worry about whether it was a good idea or not. Failing to capitulate to homophobia is not a crime; the homophobia is. Put all that energy into castigating the school and the coach, not the boyfriend.
Posted by artdyke on September 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
12
yikes...way to disengage my righteous indignation.
Posted by shotsix on September 10, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
TVDinner 13
Gosh, if I were his mother I would be really, really worried about the age difference. Granted, there's not much she can do about it, but wow, the potential power dynamics make my head spin.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on September 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
14
I don't want to be one to judge others' relationships 'cause it's none of my business, but the fact that one is 18 or 19 and the other is 65 makes me wonder if they don't have other individual issues they need to sort out. At the very least, we can say this isn't a relationship meant to last more than a year or so. And though I've practically never been to North Dakota, I'm guessing that the level of ignorance about LGBT people is relatively high, so we shouldn't be surprised about the homophobia.

I'm going to put a positive spin on this for Kuntz: You're still young! Very young! You have a lot of options! I know what I'm talking about. There are dead ends throughout life and this is just one of them. Not to be a downer, but what are the odds that you are going to play in the NFL?...

If you have a head on you and you have the motivation, you will go to another school, a community college, learn a trade or prepare to transfer to a "real" school, and take it from there. And if this whole episode gets you out of North Dakota, so much the better. (No offense.) Maybe you'll go to a big city where the pickings in the gay pond are much better, and you won't have to worry about maintaining a relationship across half the country. (Long distance is just no substitute for right there.) It's just so much more fun in a big place (people-wise, not necessarily landscape-wise) with a lot of people, including many like you.

So if this is the unfortunate episode that sparks a new future and gets you out of there then it was actually a good thing!
Posted by floater on September 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
15
I know people are going to come down hard on Kuntz's boyfriend for the age difference, but I'm not going to be one of them. If Kuntz wanted to be with him, and he wanted to be with Kuntz, then fuck the age differnce. It's completely irrelevant. Just as it would if it were a Jew dating a Muslim or a vegan dating a butcher.

We don't get to decide who we want to be with in our lives. We just DO. That's the heart of the argument for gay marriage and people should not become weak-kneed all of a sudden whenever the situation becomes uncomfortable.
Posted by flang on September 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
16
My first reaction was, "I bet that young man wouldn't have been kicked off the team if he'd been kissing a woman." But if it were a sixty-five-year-old woman? Yeah, maybe. Still, the fact that he's gay probably had something to do with it.
Posted by DRF on September 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
care bear 17
I know you're Dan Savage and you can do what you want but could we please get a jump? That's a hell of a lot of scrolling.
Posted by care bear on September 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
18
I couldn't agree more than the age issue shouldn't matter, but...

Making this a cause celebre would be a catastrophic mistake for the movement, at least at this moment in time. 99% of straight people who read this will react to it with "ewwwwwwwwwww" which is exactly the last reaction worth associating in the public mind with the equal rights movement.

From time to rare time, a principle can be a luxury good. This is that rare and regrettable time.
Posted by karamzov on September 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
19
I would really hate to go through life with a name like Kuntz.
Posted by originalcinner on September 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 20
@16 - It's tricky to engage in hypotheticals like that, but I just can't see the outcome you're describing, especially if the older woman were attractive. He would get maybe a slap on the wrist, and, if she were making people uncomfortable, she would be asked not to appear at games with him. Maybe it's just what I've come to expect from the inland states, but I can't really see anything going on here but homophobia.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on September 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 21
@ 15, no, age differences matter. When you're talking about a difference of decades, they're not irrelevant until both parties are over 30 - at least. As @13 notes, there's power (even if the football player is the self-described "aggressor") and maturity to consider.

That said, 18 is old enough for him to do whatever he wants with whomever. And most men who are into way younger partners tend to be immature themselves (hence Dan's anger).
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
very bad homo 22
@17 Oh God, your poor fingers!
Posted by very bad homo on September 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
23
@21

Does Kuntz appear in any way to be immature or having a lack of power to you? He seems like a completely normal, articulate adult male to me. Maybe if the 65-year old were smacking him around in the stands instead of kissing him and Kuntz insisted that "No, you don't understand, he loves me..." then we could talk about a potentially exploitative relationship.

But that's not what's going on. It's two *adult* guys who want to be together. No evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever. THAT'S IT. End of discussion.
Posted by flang on September 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
24
Oh, dear, a chunk of heaven just fell in my room while I was reading this. I wouldn't be surprised is there are burn holes in the Constitution. Is that sound I hear anti-gay Russians parachuting in for an invasion? I just know that Adam and Eve will get a divorce.

Too bad, kid. You must have known what you were doing. But, since you were not caught butt-humping the coach in the shower room, I don't see what you did so wrong. But, like 'Brokeback Mountain', if it were about a hetero kiss, it would be a story not worth repeating,

American 'manhood' is so frail it falls off at the slightest provocation.
Posted by Gonesouth on September 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 25
@13 and 21 I highly suspect that Mr. Kuntz may have come from a single parent home, in this case his mother. And, he isn't all that rich, as I might guess that most of his decision to go to the college is based on the full ride scholarship.

As such, Mr. Kuntz is probably looking for a father figure and boyfriend wrapped in one. He found one that was 800 miles away from his college. and 600 miles away from his home. This speaks to the deep closet he was/is in.

Either that, or the boy was molested and is now recreating that with an older boyfriend. I've heard of both.

The older boyfriend, also, may actually have money, if he has visited Mr. Kuntz before. That isn't clear. But, it may be a security trip for now.

In any case, its a decision for Mr. Kuntz to make for himself, not for any of us to make for him. Maybe his mother too.

...

Also, Mr. Kuntz made several bad decisions. He chose to lie. Then, he overreacted and pulled out of school immediately. Then, he got mad. He is now in a weaker position than if he had stayed in the school and got mad. Given the depth of his closet, probably, I'm not entirely surprised that he didn't go the ACLU route immediately. But, that's a coulda/woulda/shoulda type situation. Boy may still be able to sue, but he now has less leg to stand on.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
brandon 26
Why is the age of the other guy relevant? He's 18, if he wants to fuck a 90 year old thats his choice, so long as said 90 year old doesn't have dementia or some other disease that compromises his ability to consent. And don't give me that "the 65 year old needed to consider the consequences" bullshit. Old guys can be just as impulsive as 18 year olds, besides this sounds like it was nothing more than lovers kissing that we see all the time in public. I just isn't usually 2 dudes *gasp*

Where the fuck does it say in the football rule book that it's not OK to kiss your girlfriend? Nowhere. So why is he getting shafted for kissing his boyfriend? Homophobic assholes who are trying to cloak their bigotry in legalese.
Posted by brandon on September 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 27
@ 23, you might want to read that again. I was clearly referring to the older person. If I meant Kuntz, I'd be describing a pedophile.

Anyway, I never implied that he isn't free to date a 65-year-old. In fact, I think my comment is pretty clear that I think he is. But that doesn't mean that I should also immediately and unquestioningly accept it as a healthy relationship, or one based on true equality of partners, no different than any other.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 28
@26 Its relevant in that they're looking for a gay footballer and his boyfriend to be a poster child and its a bit hard when the boyfriend is 37 years his senior, which squicks out a lot of people.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 10, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
29

"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 being gay."

What place is it of the coach's to ask this kid about his sexual orientation ??!! WTF does that have to do with football, and why would it be any of the coach's business or concern !?
Posted by Rick James Brown on September 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
30

"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 being gay."

What place is it of the coach's to ask this kid about his sexual orientation ??!! WTF does that have to do with football, and why would it be any of the coach's business or concern !?
Posted by Rick James Brown on September 10, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
31
Everyone knows that the only acceptable relationship between someone 65 and someone 18 is a rich older man and a FEMALE debutant.

It's tradition.

It's also hypocrisy...
Posted by BobSF_94117 on September 10, 2012 at 5:34 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 32
@26: The problem, as @28 said, is that there's a complicating issue. The coach can say he kicked the kid out due to Sandusky-related concerns. Given that we're discussing the contents of the coach's mind, it will be very difficult to show otherwise.

For example, the coach can say that if a straight 18-year-old player were caught kissing his 65-year-old girlfriend, the coach would have acted the same way. Who is to say otherwise? There are enough people squicked out by such large age differences that it seems plausible. Contrast with a coach claiming he would have acted the same way if the player were kissing his 18-year-old girlfriend, which no one would believe for a second.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on September 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM · Report this
33
I, personally, don't feel anger toward his boyfriend. Point of reference: I'm a young, (mostly) cis, hetero, same-age-attracted male. I don't like that everyone is jumping to comparisons with Sandusky. Let me explain why.
-Sandusky was in a position of authority in the football program.
-Sandusky's victims were children, mostly prepubescent, all certainly below age of consent.
-Sandusky's victims were raped, as in: he had sex with them against their will.
-Kuntz's boyfriend had nothing to do with the football program and had no authority over Kuntz.
-Kuntz is himself an adult. 18 is the age of consent in every state that I'm aware of.
-Kuntz is consenting in the relationship.

Honestly, I am made a little uncomfortable by the thought of one man so young dating another more than three times his age. But guess what. That's not their problem. Sure, they won't make good poster children for gay rights and football, but is that really their concern? Who wants to make such personal life decisions based on how it reflects on a movement, albeit a valid one?

...a college of science in North Dakota of all places.
Do you know much about the upper Midwest? North Dakota is a pretty mixed bag, but it has some decent options for post-secondary educations, and is an economic boom state right now, mostly in technology jobs (before all the oil work started).
Posted by lqtm http://thenerdarium.wordpress.com/ on September 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM · Report this
34
@14
>I don't want to be one to judge others'
>relationships 'cause it's none of my
> business,
You're failing...

>but the fact that one is 18 or 19
>and the other is 65 makes me wonder
>if they don't have other individual issues
>they need to sort out.

Which sound's like "their relationship isn't like MINE so THEY must be troubled."

I think you have issues to sort out, 14.
Posted by DNash on September 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM · Report this
35
There needs to be some hilarious Savage reader posting on this facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NDSCSFootball?re…
Posted by AdamP on September 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM · Report this
36
There needs to be some hilarious Savage reader posting on this facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NDSCSFootball?re…
Posted by AdamP on September 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM · Report this
milemarker 37
In my lifetime I've seen maybe a half dozen footballs player PROPOSE to their girlfriend on the football field and kiss them right there in front of MILLIONS of viewers. The night Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, that exactly what millions of people saw.

But I want to ask a question of Dan: If your a young guy whose thing is older men, how old do you have to be before it's appropriate to pursue them?

Isn't this kid 18? Could he be in Afghanistan killing people right now? My lawfully wedded husband is 30 years older than me so I know exactly what rows Jaime's boat in terms of being into older men. I met my husband when I was 30 and he was 60. I'm now 59 and he's 89. Not one fucking thing has changed about how I feel about him since the day I met him. I had a daughter from a previous marriage who was 6 when I met my husband and she regards him like a father. She even named her first child after him.

Yes, there are some dues to pay when you love an older man; them getting older and needing you to take care of them for a long time. You know what? Doing that has magnified my loyalty and affection for him 10 fold. I got the greatest love of my life in the deal, someone who stood by me when my family basically abandoned me, and it's my great privilege to take care of him in the winter of his life.
Posted by milemarker on September 10, 2012 at 8:02 PM · Report this
SDBudde 38
@37 and others. Thank you for bringing a positive perspective and some SANITY to this discussion. I have never seen a more ludicrous display of inane gibberish in my whole life. Kuntz is 18, nothing more to be said. End of story. Forced to lie by a homophobic coach is his only error in judgment, but he proved his strength of character by setting the record straight.

I would like to point out that I am 64 and belong to several dating sites for gay men. I quite regularly receive messages from very young men, 18-25, who want to meet me and be with me. As it turns out, that is not a relationship that appeals to me. But who am I to judge others, in my age group, who desire one?

And finally, when was the last time anyone went ballistic when Hugh Hefner, who is, what, 86, is seen with a 24 year old bombshell draping herself all over his velvet robe? Give me a break.
Posted by SDBudde http://facebook.com/SDBudde on September 10, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
39
They're both legally adults, Dan. It's not your place to judge their relationship.
Posted by dansan on September 10, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
40
Did I say that Jamie wasn't an adult? Or that there was anything illegal about this relationship?

I didn't say that Jamie was being abused, or that there was anything inherently wrong with his relationship. I quoted him defending his boyfriend, describing himself as the aggressor. My only beef with the boyfriend was that he was reckless. And I'm sorry, gang, but making out with your closeted teenage football player boyfriend at a FOOTBALL GAME in full view of his teammates and coaches—does that sound like a wise move?

Remember my campsite rule for sexual relationships involving large age gaps: leave 'em in better shape than you found 'em. I don't think Jamie's boyfriend left him in better shape than he found him—not that Jamie's boyfriend left him. They're still together.

And Jamie is happy with my piece and thinks it's fair to him and his boyfriend. So... you know. There's that.
Posted by Dan Savage on September 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 41
@38 people are regularly Ew over Hef...

But, they can't stop it, so what's the use of complaining...
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM · Report this
42
Sorry—not making out. A kiss. Still reckless. And still a violation of the campsite rule.
Posted by Dan Savage on September 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM · Report this
43
Hey Dan--

When you spoke to Jamie, did you ask him when he started dating his current boyfriend?

Or did that question not occur to our intrepid reporter?
Posted by robotslave on September 10, 2012 at 9:30 PM · Report this
44
Dan, you make a good point about the campsite rule (though you and I may disagree on how much blame the boyfriend deserves). What bothered me was not so much what you said, but what other people were saying in making comparisons between Jamie's boyfriend and Sandusky. I felt those comments were very inappropriate and unacceptable.
Posted by lqtm http://thenerdarium.wordpress.com/ on September 10, 2012 at 10:26 PM · Report this
45
Well, one person quoted in story raised the Sandusky comparison, another quoted immediately after shot it down. Seems like a wash to me.
Posted by Dan Savage on September 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM · Report this
46
A lot of great hilarious commentary here, and Wow I can't believe how ready y'all are to beat up on Dan for "judging" someone.

But where the hell are Beavis and Butthead when you need them? That last photo, chosen on purpose by Mr Savage, says dickinson.
Posted by pinch-flat on September 10, 2012 at 11:10 PM · Report this
47
Shame, Dan. That you "feel nothing but anger" toward his boyfriend shows that you need to step back and reconsider just why you are having such a visceral reaction to something that is of no concern. It is the same bogus reasoning that says gay people "recruit."

The *worst* that can be said was that he was supposed to be filming. That simply results in a severe talking-to: "We brought you to do a job and you dropped the ball. What you do on your own time is your business but on our time, you are to do the task assigned to you."

What two consenting adults do is not for other people to titter about, clutch their pearls, and start railing against. "Impulsive"? "Reckless"? "Disregard"? Exactly how infantilized do you think Kuntz is? Unless you're trying to say that Kuntz' boyfriend was a hop, skip, and jump from rape, then it is naught but bigotry that leads you to be "angry."

Pull your head out of your ass, Dan.
Posted by Rrhain on September 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM · Report this
48
The Sandusky comparison is a red herring, of course.

But.

Did you ask Jamie when he initiated his relationship with his 65-year-old boyfriend?

And did it not occur to you to ask that question, Dan?
Posted by robotslave on September 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM · Report this
49
@37,38, and 47. Good for you for sticking up for someone's right to love whomever they choose. Wasn't that exactly what the original Gay Liberation Movement was about?! Now it seems we're all supposed to marry our monogamous (or "monogamish") boyfriend, get a house with a white-picket fence, and start raising babies. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I like Dan Savage, but he has always had a problem with relationships where there's an age gap. (Check out the old columns.) His automatic default position is that there must be something wrong. This a problem of Dan's, that Dan needs to work out, and he should stop projecting his issue onto other couples.
What Jamie needs to do for himself now is to stay in competitive shape and, assuming he's as good a player as the article implies, put together a great promo/press tape to send to colleges that are less homophobic than NDSCS. Given that he's already received so much publicity, perhaps there are other gay athletes, coaches, alumni, etc., who will get involved and can steer him to a school where he can both play football and have a boyfriend. Of whatever age. I wish them the best of luck.,
Posted by Don Diego on September 11, 2012 at 1:00 AM · Report this
50
A lot of people are judging the boyfriend against an ideal-world situation and Dan's judging him against the real-world situation. Both are right, only the kid's coming out process has now become that much tougher... Is it too much to ask that people think about consequences - even though they shouldn't be in an ideal world - precisely because the stakes are high?
Posted by fahima on September 11, 2012 at 2:42 AM · Report this
51
There are a lot of technical questions: Were they alone in a very visible or distantly elevated press box? Did Jamie miss filming a great scoring intercept by his team? Did the other team see the kiss and start taunting Jamie's visiting teammates?

A head injury-especially frontal lobe damage can specially impair judgement about acting out in public. Age difference-no problem-it will work itself out either way in due time, it always does. BUT the older mate should have kept a distance and some restraint if he respected Jamie's wishes and dreams for a future in football (until they were in a better place and time). If Jamie is attracted to the older man because of his experience and maturity, then the older man failed Jamie in not staying away during a highly visible working school function.
Posted by Star Boy on September 11, 2012 at 4:24 AM · Report this
52
There are a lot of technical questions: Were they alone in a very visible or distantly elevated press box? Did Jamie miss filming a great scoring intercept by his team? Did the other team see the kiss and start taunting Jamie's visiting teammates?

A head injury-especially frontal lobe damage can specifically impair judgment about acting out in public. Age difference-no problem-it will work itself out either way in due time, it always does. BUT the older mate should have kept a distance and some restraint if he respected Jamie's wishes and dreams for a future in football (until they were in a better place and time). If Jamie is attracted to the older man BECAUSE of his experience and maturity, then the older man failed Jamie in not staying away during a highly visible working school function.
Posted by Star Boy on September 11, 2012 at 4:31 AM · Report this
53
Does anyone remember Harold and Maude, and how that was seen as nothing more than a quirky, sentimental tearjerker about two kindred spirits who were both so "different" that they had almost no chance in hell of ever finding someone right for them, at least getting to be together for a little while?

Can we stop assuming the worst when there is absolutely no indication that anything is wrong here? How can we expect anyone to be tolerant and respectful if we only tolerate and respect things that don't "squick" us out? The young guy said the older guy was just as afraid to kiss in public as he was, and I believe him. Think about what that older guy's life has been like, for a minute, will ya? Unfortunately for them (and yes, I'm totally guessing here), they were like, "Oh, fuck it" and just did it, knowing that their fear was justified, because at that one moment, the fact that a fear like that IS justified was just too sad to accept, so they slipped up and momentarily pretended they had been born in a world that wasn't quite as brutal, cruel and unfair. For ONE FREAKING second.

And now, here are two guys who won't get the benefit of (almost any of) the recent turning tide in public opinion. If they were the same age, we'd all be praising their courage and they'd get an outpouring of love and righteous outrage on their behalf from millions of strangers. Instead, this guy's life is totally messed up, maybe for a long time or forever, and all he gets is, "... Ew." That's what real courage looks like.

Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 6:22 AM · Report this
55
I have a couple thoughts here, and my opinion has changed from the initial visceral reaction to this article upon reading down all the comments. I'm a straight Mom with 4 sons, the two oldest are 17 and 21, and even the difference between 17 and 21, in maturity, is vast. My 17 year old often forgets to bring a pencil to school, is very impetuous, and well, 17. I wonder really, what a 65 year old sees in an 18 year old, yes, it's legal, but is it really that interesting for this older gentleman? I expect a certain level of maturity from a man who is 65 that I don't expect from an 18 year old. He had a responsibility to act responsible, especially knowing the kid was still closeted, even to his own family. When the young man started acting reckless, he should have left that press box to protect him from the consequences. At 65, the older man knew full well the consequences and the history of homophobia and has likely suffered many similar consequences over his 65 years. Recklessness from a teenager is far more acceptable than recklessness from a 65 year old man. I have no issue with May/December relationships, except the Decembers need to realize that their Mays are so very young and often lack the experience and judgement they've gained from living so much longer, and take extra care. I am not saying they need to patronize or treat them like children, but they do need to be more protective and responsible.

I am as uncomfortable though, seeing gay men judging this relationship of vast age differentials and comparing it to pedophilia as I am when I hear straight people comparing gay relationships to pedophilia or seeing them as somehow lesser or more perverse. The fact is, there simply is not enough information in this article about the relationship, when it started, how it came to be, what they get or need from each other, for any of us to adequately judge it's merits. What we do know though, is an 18 year old kissed his boyfriend publicly, and the coach, because of probable homophobia, punished him far too harshly. THAT should be the focus, not age, recklessness of either party, or anything else. Would this coach kick someone else off the team for lying about anything else? Doubtful, as evidenced by what the other player stated about other violations of conduct of other players. Drinking parties, things like this, are actually violations of state laws, but kissing a gay partner, when both parties are legal, consenting adults, even if a play was missed in filming, was certainly not grounds to dismiss this player off the team entirely. Why did the kid feel compelled to lie? Well, probably because he's aware of the homophobia of the coach and fellow players.

Why not save the judgement for the perpetrators or the injustice and not the victims of injustice? As a mother, would I be creeped out if one of my sons brought home a gay partner? Absolutely not, because I am fine with LGBT people and see your relationships as no different or lesser than my own marriage with my husband. Would I be concerned though, if one of my sons brought home a male or female who was 65 when they were only 18? Yes, absolutely I would, and I would hold that older man/woman's feet to the fire and make sure he knew the immaturity level and responsibility he/she has being with someone so much younger and more emotionally and mentally vulnerable. If my child was happy though, and I could see good, positive things coming from ANY relationship, I would welcome it with open arms. Is Kuntz really happy with this man? If he is; then I'm very happy for them. Is this coach homophobic and did he kick a kid off the team because he is gay? That's the question that needs to be explored, and if yes, that is who needs to be judged, and perhaps legal action needs to be taken. No kiss should ever ruin anyone's life.
More...
Posted by JenniTidd on September 11, 2012 at 7:34 AM · Report this
Mudkips 56
@53 I suspect that a lot of the "ew" and indignation comes from plain, old fashioned jealousy. I think Jamie is gorgeous and I certainly envy his boyfriend, but not to the point of attacking him.
Posted by Mudkips on September 11, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 57
There are scholarships available for LGBT youth. He should look into them.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 11, 2012 at 7:52 AM · Report this
brandon 58
I would argue the campsite rule is null and void due to outside homophobic influence. And who would think that a kiss would destroy someone's life? I sure wouldn't. Homophobia trumps the campsite rule.
Posted by brandon on September 11, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
59
I'm gay but a 18 year old getting it on with a 65 year old geezer?

That's just fucking gross!
And they are right, when people see that piece of information they won't care about this at all.

This young man needs a therapy if he is attracted to geriatrics.
The whole notion grosses me out.
Posted by Mattyx on September 11, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Mudkips 60
@59 I'm pretty sure that your preferences don't dictate whether or not someone "needs a therapy" just because they aren't the same. I'm also pretty sure people in relationships that you don't approve of don't really care if it "grosses you out" because they don't need your approval to do what they want. Just a thought =)
Posted by Mudkips on September 11, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
61
Well here is something to think on homophobia is a form of discrimination. i thought this country had discrimination taken care of. the person or people that need to be under scrutiny are the ones at the college. Im a car mechanic, it does not matter what profession or what you do to earn your education. this is a country of EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL not just some .
Posted by paul g on September 11, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
62
FWIW Dan, I liked the article and wasn't reacting to anything you said. I support the idea of responsibility, campsite rule, etc. and holding someone to that isn't in any way like saying "Ew" or whatever. Or drawing any parallels to Sandusky, for example. But now that what went down went down, I do think it's an interesting test for people to think *honestly* about why they react to stories like this the way they do, and whether that says anything about what freedom and rights really mean to them. (like @55 did - fantastic). And that it isn't always as easy or clear-cut as we might like it to be.

@59, nice try - but pretty realistic, so I'm glad for the troll
Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
63
Wow, for a bunch of gay guys, you are really intolerant. I have a number of gay friends who are attracted to significantly older men. They weren't seduced or tricked into having relationships...they actively pursued these men (once they reached 18 years old) because they find older men attractive and younger men (like Mattvx) "fucking gross" and stupid to boot (again, like Mattvx). So what you are saying to these guys are, "We don't care what YOU want. We think it's icky and gross. Stay celebate until you are 30 and THEN you can pursue who you are attracted to."

Posted by guitarcub on September 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
64
@59: thanks for confirming the stereotype. Intelligent, brave warriors for equality are fighting for the rights of the likes of ... ignorant prejudiced airhead clones like you.

If I sound belligerent, look first to those who cast the first stone: @59 et. al. who barge in and piss all over gay relationships with big age gaps - like MY OWN stable, legalized, loving and hot relationship.

You know what, @59, YOU are gross.
Posted by ravished on September 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
65
What a bunch of intolerant fucks...I have a number of gay friends who are attracted to significantly older men. They were not stalked, coerced, or tricked into relationships. They actively seeked them out. They are not attacted to "bois" (like '59' Mattvx) who don't have a brain in their heads (again, like '59' Mattvx). So the question comes down to this: Does "age of consent" actually MEAN anything in this country?
Posted by guitarcub on September 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
66
One last thought - we know nothing about the older guy, what his history is, how well-equipped he was to make a wise decision in this situation regardless of age, how well he was able to assess this social world compared to the younger guy whose world it actually was, or if he's even ever had a boyfriend at all. I hope for his sake that we continue to know nothing. Nobody so far has even wondered what could the consequences for him could be because of all this. (I know this is a bit of a reach in this conversation, but still). Probably nobody would even care. How much would people be willing to say he deserved or had coming to him because of this?
Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this
67
STOP blaming the victim. Stop trying to figure out if the young one or the old one is responsible, or should have been more sensible, or should have known better. It is as lurid and pointless and stupid as figuring out if a rape victim somehow induced the crime. The wrong here is the HOMOPHOBIA. That is all!
Posted by ravished on September 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
68
Ok so... I believe that we shouldn't be judging this relationship, no matter the age difference. True: it's hard to spin a story about an 18-year-old cutie pie kissing his possibly not-so-cute boyfriend who is, of course, 47 years older than he is. We shouldn't be saying things like "he should've thought about the young boy's future" because, to him, his boyfriend isn't a "young boy", he's his equal (or at least I hope that's how he views his romantic partner).

Additionally, it seems like to me many people have this idea that the younger party is the one most likely to be manipulated by their older partner when it's possible that a younger man is completely capable of being just as vindictive and manipulative as an older man. For instance, while an older man can play on the naivete and inexperience of his younger partner, the younger partner can also play on the desire to be desirable from their older partner. Of course, I don't want to make assumptions about another person's relationship simply because it's not the kind of relationship I engage in.

I have friends who are involved in what can be described as "unhealthy" relationships by the popular consensus, i.e. slave-master, BDSM, polyamory, polygamy, pan-romantic, trans-romantic, inter-romantic, etc. etc., and I've found that even though I'm not into it that doesn't stop me from being happy for my friends who have found what they have been searching for.

Intergenerational relationships exist and just because they make us uncomfortable and just because they're not as "useful" as the romantic relationships we construct as "normal" in terms of winning over audiences and voters in this upcoming and extremely important election (Washington, which is where Dan Savage and I live, is going to vote whether or not to pass marriage equality in the state), we cannot judge them. We cannot pretend that they aren't the same as other relationships because they are. People must be encouraged to pursue romantic entanglements that make them feel satisfied and happy, despite what is viewed as normal - especially in a day and age where the long-traditional perception of "normal" relationships is being shifted to the public eye.

Love is love and we need to recognize that. Yes, I will admit that a 65 year old man and a 18 year old man (yes, they are both LEGAL adults) kissing may not be as "cute" a story as well as have that positive spin that makes it a story worth fighting for in the eyes of the press, but I will not pass judgment, make assumptions, or state that their relationship is less valid than mine. Additionally, I will NOT relate this relationship to the "Sandusky Trial" considering that the people involved are both legal, consenting adults and it is not a crime nor even a misdemeanor to want to kiss your boyfriend.
More...
Posted by Connor_Mykel on September 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
69
@67, much better said.
Posted by houseoftrash on September 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
70
Its exactly the humanness of this episode that makes it important. The "Ewww" factor for some should trigger the question "what is the principle here?" Its that he can love who he wants at his age and he got booted off a team for a kiss. Lying in such a circumstance - never ideal or fully rationalizable - is actually a natural response given he accurately predicted the consequences. Whether he has other issues you want to suspect him of matters not to the principle. Keep it simple. Its homophobia that got him kicked off the team. Ideal case or not, its perfectly human and pure discrimination.
Posted by RobSFNYC on September 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
71
@69: sorry, i liked the way you picked apart the issues. Just having a pissed off day hence the caps and exclamation marks.
Posted by ravished on September 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
72
The North Dakota State College of Science is an equal opportunity employer and equal opportunity educator. NDSCS is fully committed to equal opportunity in employment decisions and educational programs and activities, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, for all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or status with regard to marriage or public assistance.

ummmmmmmm....me thinks the coach is violating the school's anti-discrimination policy.
Posted by jamie_m on September 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
73
I can't believe that some of you (including the reporter!?) put some blame of this in the older boyfriend.
This is not at all a question of age or that it was "unsmart" of them to kiss. It's only a question of homophobia.

If we want to break down these barriers between being gay and playing sports you have to let people do these things.

You can't really say that you want it to be accepted everywhere and then say that they should have given it more thought.
Come on people.
Posted by Swede on September 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
74
I'm sure Kuntz knew what would happen if he admitted that he was kissing his boyfriend. After all, homophobia this blatant usually has other telltale signs. Under the circumstances, I can't blame him for lying.

Also, if this had been a woman (especially an older woman), he would have been given a "boys will be boys" chuckle, a slap on the wrist, and been allowed to continue playing.
Posted by taephoenix on September 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
75
Its funny that the school wouldnt respond and act upon hearsay however the coach did act upon hearsay. Fucking double standard and your right the elder man should be ashamed of the affair however if it was the other way around and it wasnt a gay relationship he would be considered a STUD such as Hugh Hefner. At the end of the day its none of our business of who wants to have a relationship with whomever they want.......The Coach is a Fucking idiot and should be FIRED!
Posted by adwatson70 on September 11, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
76
North Dakota is a surprisingly tolerant state. Sure, there are the standard bigots found in every bunch, but I think with the size of the overall population compared to the anti-gay and vocal-about-it few, it's not a bad situation. What IS bad, however, is that state law has not yet caught up to public sentiment. This is perfectly outlined in this post: http://thegayagenda.areavoices.com/?p=38…

Like the article says, the incidents where the "excuse" of state law is used for outright discrimination are pretty few and far between, but it's still there in the records. For the time being.
Posted by 0wl on September 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
77
Its exactly the humanness of this episode that makes it important. The "Ewww" factor for some should trigger the question "what is the principle here?" Its that he can love who he wants at his age and he got booted off a team for a kiss. Lying in such a circumstance - never ideal or fully rationalizable - is actually a natural response given he accurately predicted the consequences. Whether he has other issues you want to suspect him of matters not to the principle. Keep it simple. Its homophobia that got him kicked off the team. Ideal case or not, its perfectly human and pure discrimination.
Posted by RobSFNYC on September 11, 2012 at 5:20 PM · Report this
78
The sporting world does not seem ready for us...I tried and thought my career was secure...not so much. Maybe in the future there will be some kind of real support system.
Posted by zracre on September 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
79
@ 59: The satire is pitch perfect. I fell for it at first. Oh, look how far we have come, folks, when young gay men can say the same things we still hear about ... young gay men.

@73: A 65 year old should understand that PDAs will out an 18 year old. If the 18 year old is not ready to be out, don't out him by ignoring that fact. And DON'T make a political statement using the 18 year old without his permission. (Heck, don't do it then, because the world already is too eager to use the lives of gullible young men to adress the political preferences of old people.)
Posted by Snowguy on September 11, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
80
This American culture (as well as many others, but I'm an American) worships the fantasy of being forever young, of youthful beauty expressed in A&F ad programs, of age being ugly and useless as if humans were planned obsolescence machines to be discarded. The fact that ageism should enter the conversation about an 18-year-old man who proclaims that he was in pursuit of this older boyfriend shows just what unexamined lives so many people live. As to the gay community in particular, the "dirty old" men so many of you feel to see only as "too old" shows how little you know about how much many of your elders have done for you and your civil rights, your medical health and the heightened prestige worldwide that homosexuality now holds. So, continue to believe that you have no regressive traits in pursuit of outdate idolatry, buy you are severely mistaken and as prejudiced as the homophobes who want to end this young gay guy's football career prematurely because he merely kissed someone he loves.
Posted by RomanFingers on September 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
81
http://xkcd.com/314/
Age/2 + 7 rule (or close enough to it).
Sorry, but you can't convince me there isn't a power dynamic issue with the age difference. Homophobia could have easily played a part, but the age gap is much more likely to be the issue.
Posted by ravewulf on September 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
82
Sorry, Dan. I still think your full of shit. Your initial reaction was totally unfair. It sounds from the description like it wasn't full on making out but just a kiss. That hardly seems "reckless," especially if they were convinced that no one else could see them, which it seems like they very obviously (and mistakenly) were. Automatically blaming the older man for ruining the younger man's college career seems to me like you've already stacked the deck against the older guy. Admit it. You view any 65 year old that would date someone that young with suspicion. And this suspicion, whether you want it to or not, causes you to judge them more negatively than you would someone else.

I'm a gay gerontophile. I'm now 36, but have always been attracted to men over 55. It was very hard when I was 18. Being gay was hard enough, but then even my gay friends didn't understand my attraction. They assumed I'd been abused, or had daddy issues or was looking for financial support. And on top of all the other shit I had to put up with, I had to deal with constantly being told that any older guy who would date me or have sex with me was a freak, a loser or a predator. It was rough. I met, dated and had sex with a few men in their 60s when I was 18. Some of them were jerks, but most of them were very sweet and caring. Kind of like the same experience that every actively dating 18 year old has.

I'm sure Jamie appreciates your support, and he does not sound like one to make a big issue out of something he didn't like in your column. But I also applaud him for sticking up for his boyfriend. You weren't there, Dan. You don't know what went down or how. Perhaps his boyfriend was being a selfish, reckless jerk and didn't care about the consequences that Jamie might suffer. Or perhaps he was just stealing a kiss with someone he loved.

I know for a fact, Dan, that if Jamie's boyfriend was 19 instead of 65, you would not dream of blaming the boyfriend for the incident. You would blame the coach, the school, society, but not the boyfriend. Perhaps Jamie's boyfriend showing up to the football game at all was not the best idea. But vilifying someone because they did not remain sufficiently closeted so as not to be the victim of someone else's homphobia seems like something the religious right would do. If two gay teens were at a high school dance and beaten up after being seen kissing, would you blame the gays for kissing? Would you say they should have known better? What if they were two 65 year old gay teachers at the dance who stole a kiss and were then beaten up? Would you blame them?

More...
Posted by mshawn on September 11, 2012 at 10:01 PM · Report this
milemarker 84
@82 There it is. That's what I'm like. I went through life without the ability to even *see* guys my age. If they didn't have wrinkles, a bald head, white hair - my heart was blind to them.

My husband and I used to laugh about how we would go to a gay night club and on the way home talk about who was "cute". He'd mention some young guy and be in dismay that the guy hadn't even registered on my brain. I'd do the some thing with him, mention how some silver-haired guy gave me a look. My husband wouldn't have the foggiest idea who I was talking about. See? We were made for each other. We both like each other because of our ages. We both got what we wanted, and he turned out to be a hell of a good friend and partner to me and parent to my daughter. He's never treated me any other way than as an equal and I'm so grateful for that after seeing all of the self-absorbed older guys online advertising themselves as a "mentor" who wants a playmate to boss around rather than an adult to build a life with.
Posted by milemarker on September 11, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
85
I'm disappointed that Dan Savage placed any blame on the older boyfriend.

"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." --DS

Actually, I don't feel any anger toward him at all. I wasn't there. I didn't see what happened. And according to the information given, all they did was kiss. That's "reckless disregard for his Kuntz's future"? They were in a press box, and it's possible that they both had some expectation of privacy, and even though they were seen, if they had that expectation it might have been reasonable.

And the idea that Kuntz is this poor, dithering teenager who is a slave to his impulses and the older man should be held to some kind of rediculously high standard of maturity... Come on.

Kuntz is 18, and in our country you are considered an adult at that age. Yeah, some 18-year-olds aren't very mature, relatively speaking, but if they're old enough to decide if they want to go to war, then they're old enough to decide who they want to kiss and where.

As for older adults always acting responsibly, I seem to recall a certain someone who founded this really great anti-bullying campaign and then went out in front of a group of UNDERAGE teenagers and called some of them names and used language that many would find offensive. Mr. Savage, you didn't exactly look like the adult in that situation even though you were the much older one, but I didn't get angry. I know we all have our breaking points.

I'm an older man, and I've never been with anyone significantly younger or older than myself, but I still notice the young guys. This past summer I found out who Tom Daley is, the English diver from the Olympics. Wow! If he wanted to kiss me, I'm not sure I could manage to pull off being the "responsible adult", even if we were in a redneck bar in Mississippi. We older guys, we have our impulses, too. (I'm pretty sure Tom would never be interested, so I think I'm safe.)

When you're an adult, you get to decide how you're going to live your life. You get to decide who you're going to date, who you're going to kiss, have sex with, etc. That's what being an adult means. It doesn't matter if what you do makes others unconfortable or if others don't understand or approve. If it's legal, it's legal.

Getting kicked off of a football team seems really harsh under the circumstances presented to us here, and I don't think it should matter one bit how old the boyfriend is. I doubt Kuntz would have gotten the boot if he had been seen kissing a woman of any age and then lying about it. That's the story. And that's what we should be talking about. I don't think Dan Savage shold have wrote about this story in a way that lent any credence whatsoever to the idea that the wrong done to this man is somehow less significant because of the age of the person he was kissing.

I also found some of the comments here disappointing, too. What does disapproving of the age difference have to do with anything? Even if the younger man was being taken advantage of by the older man, even if the older man was some reckless ass who didn't give a damn about anybody but himself, how does kicking the younger man off the team help him? How does gossiping, and moralizing about May-December romances and psychoanalyzing the older boyfriend help this young man who was kicked off of his football team for kissing someone in a press box?
More...
Posted by snogger on September 12, 2012 at 1:12 AM · Report this
86
Here's what is now the headline of all the articles out there about this: "Gay North Dakota college football player says kiss got him booted."

Not, "College football player booted because of gay kiss."
He *was* booted because of a gay kiss. He isn't "saying" that - that's what actually did happen. But, I guess it doesn't matter - that's gonna be the headline now

Posted by houseoftrash on September 12, 2012 at 2:04 AM · Report this
87
This is a tiny consolation for this dude who just got booted from college: it's a college that decided to try to use "whom", but couldn't get it right. GRAMMER IZ HORD.

(Details: "...I confronted you about whom [!] else was in the box with you". Yes, the whole relative clause "who/whom was in the box with you" is the object of the preposition "about". But inside the relative clause, the "who/whom" is the subject of "___ was in the box with you". And "who"-vs-"whom" is determined only by its role in the relative clause... for anyone dumb enough to try using "whom".
A simplified version of their error: "I know whom was there."
The technical term is "a free relative clause"-- and that and a buh fiddy will get ya on the bus!)

Ugh. A school of bigoted weasels who can't write.

Also: be nice to the kid, HE HAD A CONCUSSION.
Posted by Ogonek on September 12, 2012 at 5:35 AM · Report this
88
I must agree with "snogger". Dan Savage, let's hope that you do not get old. You should hope that when you are 65, that some "young thang" will even look at you. To denigrate this relationship is beyond words. You don't know the real circumstances behind this relationship. STOP, continuing to blame older gay men for constantly ruining younger gay men's lives. There are younger men who like older men, I happen to be one of them. I don't want a relationship with a person who has no soul, who is limited in their intelligence and who don't work or have any work experience. I don't want to be with someone who is "club oriented" all the time either. I want an intelligent person who knows what love is and who will love me. It's that simple. Young gay men these days are all about self. So when you fall for a younger man Dan, think about it. Leave Mr. Kuntz boyfriend alone. Bob
Posted by Bobaloo on September 12, 2012 at 8:09 AM · Report this
wolfmanj 89
I think some are missing a point here. If you are gay/bi/lesbian/transgender or straight but not narrow, then its supposed to be about acceptance. Period. Isn't that what the fight for rights and marriage is about in the first place. Are we so narrow minded within ourselves that we can't just be happy that someone else is happy? Age is only an issue if you make it one. I for one can find more issues of importance to deal with. Those who disagree, well, there is probably a Chick-Fil-A somewhere close by for you to visit while you create a more hostile environment for those of us that live this issue every single minute of every single day.
Posted by wolfmanj on September 12, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
91
It really stinks athletes can’t be openly gay in our culture, but college football coaches humiliate and torment their players every single day of the season.
Posted by Greydon Clark on September 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
92
ya know... all these comments about the 65 year old boyfriend? the whole "he should be ashamed"? bullshit. I've been attracted to older men my whole life. My first partner was 38 years older than I was, and my HUSBAND is 21 years older than I am. You don't really control attraction or chemistry any more than you control your sexuality... remember that people. and grow the fuck up.
Posted by Soundboy3 on September 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
93
ya know... all these comments about the 65 year old boyfriend? the whole "he should be ashamed"? bullshit. I've been attracted to older men my whole life. My first partner was 38 years older than I was, and my HUSBAND is 21 years older than I am. You don't really control attraction or chemistry any more than you control your sexuality... remember that people. and grow the fuck up.
Posted by Soundboy3 on September 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
94
I think people are missing the point here. I'm sure the fact of him being gay and his boyfriend being older than him did have some part in it. I have no problem with gay people let me remind you, but the age difference does freak me out a little bit. But you all have to remember, he went to Colorado with the school team to film the game. If he wanted to have an extra up in the booth with him, he should have gotten consent to do so. He wasn't there for horseplay, he was there on a scholarship to film the game. And the fact that he brought his boyfriend up to the booth and "kissed" him isn't okay because he didn't ride on the bus or plane or whatever for free to see his boyfriend. He went along to film the game. And lying about it probably didn't help the situation whatsoever.
Posted by footballfrenzy on September 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
95
This is why we have no gay role-models. It is impossible to talk to any older gay men without them trying to get into your pants. This is so sad. I feel so bad for him. When you older gays out there see a 17 year old online how about trying not to fuck him. This is how HIV is spread to the younger generation. Instead of mentoring, these disgusting pigs are only interested in taking advantage of young gays coming up and trying to find their place in the world. Can't wait until this loser pisses off. Hopefully this young boy will be able to heal and mature and not repeat this vile form of abuse when he gets older. This needs to stop.
Posted by will114587 on September 12, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
Mudkips 96
@95 Haha, that was pretty funny. On the off chance that you are serious though: try to get over your jealousy. It's very unflattering and makes you sound like a fool.
Posted by Mudkips on September 12, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
98
We should all understand that age of consent laws were intended to protect prepubescent children, not older guys in college. We need to change our attitudes toward this type of relationship. In colonial America, nobody got more than an eighth grade education unless they were going to become a doctor or a lawyer, just like their daddy. Out of school by 13, they got apprenticed to a local business at 14. When they went through puberty they were married off, given an acre of land at the edge of town, the whole town showed up to builf them a house and a barn, and they were expected to make babies to help the pilgrims outpopopulate those pesky injuns. Zero time between puberty and family. The age of 16 was selected as the age of consent because that's the age by which everybody went through puberty. The age at onset of puberty has gone down with every generation, while family life is put off until graduation from college at age 22. Some kids these days have spent half their lives post-puberty by then. Give them credit for knowing what they want and for the ability to choose a partner. When I was 25 or 26, I was approached by an 11 yr old who had been dating older guys for two years. I knew of a woman whose lot backed up to the local jr-sr high school. She had some friends over and they attracted boys from the school yard ages ranging from 11 to 15. When I had Fido mail I was on a list with two guys who said they dated older men in high school to keep classmates from learning their orientation. They insisted that they were completely in cntol of the relationship. This is simply an attitude problem. I believe that these kids are hurt more by society's reaction than by the relationship itself. Get over it.
Posted by jhwaaser on September 12, 2012 at 7:12 PM · Report this
milemarker 99
@98. I hope you didn't take up the 11 year-old's offer. Geeze! You sound creepy. Don't you know about the criminal statutes that apply to adults for the very reason you seem to be trying to justify? Kids under 18 are legally prohibited and incapable of giving consent and for a VERY good reason - their innocence was exploited so often back in those times you cited as evidence, it became clear that adolescents were either not capable of understanding what they were entering into, they were being USED by more mature adults who held a power advantage over them.

No, kids were NOT married off after puberty in this country nor most western countries. You can see the evidence of that in the U.S. Census record covering as far back as 1850. For both men and women of the 18th, 19th and 20th century, the overwhelming majority married after age 18. Actually, men tended to be even older; more like 23 or 24 when they married.

Geeze, this is creepy. Your's sounds eerily similar to the case that NAMBLA makes about age of consent.
Posted by milemarker on September 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM · Report this
100
It seems to me that an age difference is much like any other difference - in background, personal history, gender - oh, right, we're supposed to match up people of very different genders. I am amused by all this oohing and aahing about a visibly sexy 65 year old - at what age to you all intend to quit being sexy? I would rather congratulate this man for staying alive and vital as a role model for all of us.

Dossie Easton, age 68
Posted by Dossie on September 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
102
If Kuntz was straight and balling some 65 year old chick he would be fine. Since its some guy suddenly its not, ok? Absolute rubbish! College football, he is an adult and free to make any choice he wishes. Kicking him off of his team for sexual orientation is absolutely unacceptable no matter what their lame reason is. That is all it is, a lame reason that is so obvious and transparent it's beyond ridiculous. Even if he did lie, so what! How many professionals have lied from Congress to Hollywood to maintain their career. I am so tired of the double standard placed on gay people to molly coddle straight peoples ego's.
Posted by JustSid on September 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
103
I think this is about homophobia but I have to disagree that if he was with a 65-year-old woman it would be ok. I don't know if the reaction would be quite as extreme, but Harold and Maude situations make people squeamish regardless of sexual orientation.
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on September 18, 2012 at 11:38 PM · Report this
104
I need some help here. My son is a 17 year old gay male. I accept this. He just informed me that the guy he is in love with is 61 years old. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. I too think that the 61 yr old should know better. They have not been physical yet. They talk every day and I am scared for my son. My son is very mature and said that he persuded the 61 yr old. The older guy seems very established. I know my son was not molested and is not after any money. His Dad is involved in his life. My son just said that he is attacted to his friend and they have similar interest. He believes that he is in love. Please help me to understand this.
Posted by lajurge on November 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
105
Ok, we can discuss the age difference between two gay consenting adults till the last whitsle of the very last game of Football. We have ignored the key players and the issues. What about Jamie and his bf? How can one not say this whole matter can cause stress for all involved. What about the families of the two men. TIme for the PC debate to end and focus on the people involved. Counseling will most definitely be a key thing! Not because of the gay or the age issue. This young man has had so many support systems rocked off their bases that both he and his BF need to take time to refocus and take time to know each other and to make sense of all this national hype. Time to show support for the two to find a healthy place to move forward. Jamie is the key as is the bf.....let them be and let both have the time to heal. How would you like to have a relationship outed in a way one would not most likely have had happen. Love happens and who are we to make so many judgements about someone else.

Dear 104 -

I will not try to make any snap suggestions here. I would not trust the wisdom of all here as well. There is so many variables online that is equivalent of spring water being accessed outside a barn of pigs and cows...enough said.

Get away fromt the hype here and touch base with GLESEN or other Gay support group for individuals and famlies. Being gay is not the issue nor is the age alone an issue. Human relationships are no simple things. If the same issue was faced about a 18 year old youn man dating a 65 year old woman I would say the same thing given the media attentiona nd voices being thrown out there. WHo would not need to seek counselign to sort through all this speaking to someone who is totally neutral and focused on a client's needs rather than that of society. Enough said here and hopefully time will heal which includeds all the media getting a real life and letting this issue die so all involved can refocus and regain a center in their lives.

My prayers to Jamie, his family and bf as well as person who made comment #104. Prayer and God are not homophobic so let God help to heal! The rest need to let this issue drop and die a quick death to time.
More...
Posted by FaithfulCoach on December 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this

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