Target: North Dakota State College of Science President Dr. John Richman
Goal: Demand that head coach Chuck Parsons apologize for kicking a player off the football team for being gay
Recently, now ex-football player for the North Dakota State College of Science 18-year-old Jamie Kuntz received a concussion. During his time off the field, he was picked to video tape a game from a press box. It was on the job that Kuntz kissed his 65-year-old boyfriend in between one of the plays. Head coach Chuck Parsons saw this occur and confronted Kuntz after the game. At this juncture, Kuntz originally lied and told the coach that the man was his grandfather and that there had been no kissing.
Kuntz texted Parsons later that night admitting that he was in fact gay and had been kissing his boyfriend. Parsons called Kuntz’s conduct “detrimental” and a “distraction”, and then removed him from the team for violation of rules. President Dr. John Richman supports the decision, saying that lying is in keeping with violations to the team.
It’s clear that simple enforcement of the rules is not what was at work here. The issue of lying about a kiss, even if looked at separately from the fact that Kuntz is gay, does not hold enough substance in this situation to qualify his being removed from the team. Furthermore, Kuntz himself admitted to not having told the truth and for this was punished. Finally, nothing about the incident compromised Kuntz’s ability to do his job nor the performance of the team. Jamie Kuntz has voluntarily withdrawn from North Dakota State College of Science as a result. Demand that Coach Parsons apologize for discriminating and invite Kuntz to rejoin the football team.
Dear President Richman,
Jamie Kuntz, previously a football player for North Dakota State College of Science, was recently removed from the team for an incident in which he lied about having kissed his significant other while video-taping a game. It’s clear from this simple summarizing of the incident that the decision to remove him was an improper handling of what is otherwise a non-issue.
Head coach Chuck Parsons and yourself deemed the decision appropriate based on the fact that Kuntz initially denied having kissed anyone, constituting a violation of team rules about lying. Even if the matter were as simple as a lie about a kiss, this in no way creates substantial enough grounds for termination of a position on a football team. Moreover, kissing his significant other once during a game did not compromise his ability to do his job. And finally, it was Kuntz himself who later contacted Parsons and admitted to having kissed his boyfriend and being gay.
It seems clear that Parsons would have been satisfied with the denial, constituting a “don’t ask, don’t tell” type of situation which exposes the true nature of the team expulsion–one in which being gay is the issue and discrimination runs rampant. Jamie Kuntz has since withdrawn from your school as a result. As other students have noted, the coach’s handling of the situation went “too far” and is completely unacceptable. As school head, it is your responsibility to fight actions such as these which display your school as intolerant and your management practices in a negative light.
If you are to maintain a reputable image for North Dakota State College of Science, it is necessary that the school issue not only an apology for the way in which Jamie Kuntz was treated and offer him the opportunity to return to school.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: jimmywayne via Flickr