Well, this is awkward! Former 49ers and Raiders offensive lineman Kwame Harris now joins a pretty amazingly short list of former NFL players who we know to have been involved in a gay relationship. Welcome aboard! Not the best way of putting the news out, though: Today, the San Mateo Daily Journal reports that Harris will appear in court on a whole litany of charges after allegedly beating the crap out of his ex-boyfriend.
The San Mateo Daily Journal reports that they were at a Chinese restaurant when things started to go awry:
Harris was to drive [his ex-boyfriend Dimitri 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.
Geier apparently wound up at the emergency room instead of the airport. The San Mateo County Times reported: "The punches from Harris broke bones around Geier's eye socket and led a metal plate being installed in his face to repair the physical damage from the beating, his suit says."
And what of their relationship? That was confirmed by a county lawyer and Harris's lawyer:
Harris and his alleged victim had been in a romantic relationship but were no longer involved when they met at Su Hong restaurant in Menlo Park, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti.
Harris' attorney Alin Cintean confirms the pair were previously involved but were just friends at that point.
Gays have been a hot topic for the NFL this year. Some players have come full out in support of gay marriage and embraced the idea of a gay teammate. That is all very heartening! And then we get a reminder, like last week from Manti Te'o, that some form of gay panic remains perfectly a part of the game's consciousness.
So, as weird as this Harris court appearance is (and this is probably a good time to say that being in a relationship with a man and declaring yourself as gay, which he has not done, are two different things!), it's helpful to remember that, yes, some people get involved in man-on-man action in the NFL. This isn't the first time that stuff about Harris and a boyfriend was out there, either. And whether this is good news to Harris or not, this story will probably wind up defining him more than this remarkable 10-minute video dedicated to how just how terribly he played in 2006.