Retired Offensive Lineman Kwame Harris Beat Up Ex-Boyfriend Over Soy Sauce Dispute
Kwame Harris, former 49ers first-round draft pick and retired NFL offensive lineman, could spend up to nine years in jail after being slapped with felony charges for domestic violence. The story is notable for a few reasons. 1) The case magnifies the issue of post-retirement mental health amongst NFL players; 2) Harris beat an ex-boyfriend, making him one of the sparingly few publicly gay former football players; and 3) The fight stemmed from an argument about soy sauce. Like, the condiment.
According to the suit Harris faces, on August 21, Harris was out with his ex-boyfriend Dimitri Geier at a Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area, and said he would drive Geier to San Francisco International Airport for a flight after the meal. During the meal, Geier poured some soy sauce on rice, which reportedly led to an argument between the two.
The argument escalated in the parking lot of the restaurant when Harris rescinded his offer to drive Geier to the airport. Geier went to get his bags from Harris’ car, where Harris allegedly pulled Geier’s pants down and accused him of stealing his underwear. Violence ensued on both ends, but based on the following injuries sustained by Geier (which are not pretty), prosecutors charged only Harris with abuse charges, deeming that he started the violence and Geier was acting in self-defense.
The punches from Harris broke bones around Geier’s eye socket and led a metal plate being installed in his face and other surgeries, said his attorney Craig Charles. He added Geier, who had been in a four-year, on and off relationship with Harris, may require more surgery because the metal plate has shifted.
Now, we don’t know what Harris’ and Geier’s relationship was like. Four years of on-and-off sounds pretty serious to me, and perhaps the two have such an extensive history where all it takes to set someone off is soy sauce. But when all it takes to set someone off is soy sauce, don’t we have to raise the question of mental health? The fact that Harris is gay is an ironic sidebar, if only because Vikings punter Chris Kluwe — noted gay rights activist — trolled commish Roger Goodell regarding the issue of player safety on the same day Harris was due in court. And it’s certainly interesting that Harris is now one of the sparingly few publicly gay current or former pro athletes, but the real issue here is certainly whether or not such a violent beating can be linked to the violent beatings Harris took as an offensive lineman for seven years in the NFL.
That having been said, if it was a girlfriend Harris beat up instead of a boyfriend, we would almost certainly be looking at this differently, more heinously, more ready to draw the link between playing in the NFL and lingering mental health issues. But really, boyfriend or girlfriend, it should be treated as one and the same. I’m not an alarmist, nor do I think we’re trying to fish for causality where there is none, but a former football player dented a significant other’s face with his fists in a spat that started over soy sauce. Regardless of gender and sexuality and double standards, this was a severe case of domestic abuse that happened because a former football player was upset about soy sauce. You can say it over and over again and it won’t make it any easier to understand.
As for Harris, he was bailed out of jail for $75,000 and his hearing has been pushed back from Feb. 25 to April 29.
He's quite handsome, actually, in the mug shot. Too bad he is abusive.
I would steal Harris' underwear too.
He can't be gay. He's an offensive lineman.
A metal plate around the eye socket is a good indicator.
He looked better when he was beefier. Some dudes should not lose weight.
The definition of "messy queens"
[quote]He's an offensive lineman.
No, just offensive.
In my day, bitchy gay fights were turned hetero and put on the Broadway stage.
His lawyer said that he was defending himself and that Geier punched him 3 times first before Harris hit him back. Harris fist just happened to do more damage and Geier ended up in the hospital getting the plate put in.
Articles have said Harris is 6'7 and 240 pounds so he's lost quite a bit of weight since he left the NFL. While this Geier is said to be 6'1 220 pounds. So they're almost evenly matched except for the height difference and one of them is an ex NFL player.
From the comment sections I've read, several of his friends have said that the Harris they knew was a very nice guy who wasn't violent. Also regarding the gay issue, his lawyer has said Harris identifies as gay but doesn't really talk about it.
I read one comment from a friend who said Harris has been out since after high school. That makes it seem like some NFL players had to know he was gay. He certainly never publicly came out then.
According to Deadspin, the rumors about Kwame has been out for quite a while.
They point to a 2008 blind item they ran : ""Think Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian are the only ones with NFL boyfriends? Well, I think you are forgetting about one very important C+ actor on a hit network drama who leaves his wife and kids every weekend to go cheer on his boyfriend who is on an NFL west coast team. "
And their response then: "Yesterday some of you were flummoxed by the gay NFL star and his gay actor boyfriend, but some of you guessed that it was Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Kwame Harris and, um, some skinny white dude."
Now I'm curious who was this married actor.
And this is Geier's last facebook update. I'm going to assume it's about this case: "this is nuts.. and lots of it false!"
Soy sauce is high in sodium & leads to bloating. The BF looks like he eats too much of it.
Who took him to the airport?
Geier's facebook page is very interesting. He has a photo of himself in the hospital in September. Looks really bad.
some of his comments: "Yeah, i am ok.. was just bone damage, a few fractures in my orbital and cheek bones.. my ex decided to show me how badass he is.. its our 7 yeah itch... finally its over for good.. dont worry, i am better than ever.. "
and his opinion on why it happened: " I am not a doctor, but i think its bipolarity.. we had dinner at a restaurant and i poured soy sauce into a plate he wanted to use for rice himself.. that started an argument about me not having manners and class and triggered his rage. and 5 minutes later it was a physical assault. so i dont really know why.. there wasnt a reason really. he has rage issues.. hopefully there will be some therapy enforced."
After reading r27 - it's obvious the ex-boyfriend said something racist to the footballer.
Not saying it justifies things but it wasn't about SOY SAUCE.
what the hell, r28? there is no indication of that whatsoever. why would a boyfriend of seven years suddenly say something racist?
oh PLEASE! I'll cut a bitch if they put soy sauce on a plate I'm going to use for rice.
Soy Sauce will fuck you up!
- John, dying at the end.
Many former Football players have brain damage, and they are prone to have anger management problems.
R33, that could apply to homos too
he's been violent for years in college and professionally. It is his career....to bash people into oblivion.
How this is surprising surprises me.
Kind of like the gun violence in this country. How is it surprising?
We're asking for it.
And yet none in power does a thing to stop it.
What is the matter with all of you?
soy sauce is code for lube, plate is code for bed, rice is code for an Asian guy.
People don't have fights over food, they have fights over whose going to be the bottom.
Who is the boyfriend?:
"Well, I think you are forgetting about one very important C+ actor on a hit network drama who leaves his wife and kids every weekend to go cheer on his boyfriend who is on an NFL west coast team."
I think R36 got it right.
Chris Meloni was the first one I thought of for this BI, R37.
And the late, beloved author E. Lynn Harris is spinning in his grave: what a storyline!
I have a legal question:
Is there a legal difference between a "domestic violence" charge, and a felony assault charge for beating up a stranger? And if this is an ex-boyfriend, rather than a current boyfriend, does the "domestic" status still apply?
R42 Good questions. Does the "domestic charge" trivialize what happened -- as in the cops think it was just a domestic dispute between two queens?
I think when the beating happened they were still together so it is a domestic charge. He is his ex-boyfriend now.
[quote]So they're almost evenly matched except for the height difference and one of them is an ex NFL player
That's a joke, right?
R40 -- they said 'skinny'. George Eads isn't even 'stocky' anymore.
I'm getting a boner just reading this!
Looks like GEier deleted the picture of himself on Facebook from when he was in the hospital.
My impression is they were in a relationship and Kwame's lawyer is probably trying to downplay this relationship so that he can make it a case about self defense instead of one about domestic violence.
This is what Geier wrote today: "his lawyer is spinning the money issue, cause they are going for self defense.. the civil lawsuit is for medical expenses, maybe 20-30.000. enough said. this is a sad situation, i ended up with a life long injury and kwame decided not to take the deal from DA and let the business out in the public. "
George Eads doesn't have kids, does he?
I'm just surprised he acknowledged being gay, and that the guy was his boyfriend.
If this had happened in the past he probably would have said that they were "roommates" who were fighting over a chick. Just shows you how much has changed...
If a gay relationship isn't legally recognized, then should it be a domestic violence charge?
Considering how often guys get busted for beating their girlfriends (and sometimes vice versa), I would think so.
Sorry but I'm laughing so hard at the opening line.
Kwame Harris has condemned the hateful comments that Chris Culliver spouted earlier this week.
So even though he didn't come out of his own accord, at least he's not shying away from openly tackling (somewhat) homophobia in the NFL.
Maybe as he becomes comfortable with the spotlight he's been under recently, he'll become an ally and work advance the evolution of the mindsets in professional football.