You probably don’t know who the hell Kwame Harris is, and why he should matter to you. Normally, a replacement-level retired offensive lineman wouldn’t matter at all, especially not during Super Bowl week when we desire to discuss only two teams, and possibly also the level of cleavage that Beyonce will reveal to the world during her halftime performance (further investigation is needed).
But he matters to you now, because the former 49er has given us the gift of Super Bowl week’s first piece of absurdity, even though he’s not connected to the game in any capacity.
Harris is facing felony domestic violence charges for allegedly beating an ex-boyfriend. That’s no laughing matter, but the circumstances surrounding his alleged fists and their fury are…odd.
From the Daily Journal:
Harris was to drive Dimirti Geier to San Francisco International Airport but instead became upset when he poured soy sauce on a plate of rice, according to the suit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court. The men argued for approximately seven minutes and Harris said he would no longer take Geier to the airport, the suit states.
As the men left to remove Geier’s belongings from Harris’ car so that he could instead take a cab, Harris tried pulling the other man’s pants down and accused him of stealing his underwear, according to the suit.
Geier unsuccessfully tried pushing Harris away but the bigger man shook him violently and punched him in the arms, the suit states.
From soy sauce anger to accusations of underwear theft? I see nothing wrong with that escalation.
Beyond the sheer zaniness of this story (for the record, Kwame, I don’t like soy sauce on my rice either), we have an even more interesting talking point. Harris may not have been a Pro Bowler, but he still started 55 NFL games, and anyone with that on their résumé can say they were a legitimate and established NFL player. And now we’ve learned that such a player is gay.
Let me be abundantly clear: there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever, and my intention here isn’t to make a political statement. If you’d like to do that, there’s a section below where you can type many words.
The importance of Harris’ involuntary outing is simply this: very few former players are known to be gay, and no current players are. Although both rookies and veterans have said they would be supportive of a gay teammate, the Manti Te’o interview in which he abruptly and vehemently denied being gay is still fresh.
Now we know that a recently retired player (Harris last played in 2008) was in a locker room for a long time, and he was gay. Did his teammates know? If so, how was he treated? If not, why didn’t he tell them? Those questions can be asked now, and discussed.