Kwame Harris (pictured), a former San Francisco 49er, was convicted this week of misdemeanor domestic violence, battery, and assault for the August 2012 physical altercation that took place at a Chinese restaurant involving an ex-boyfriend, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to prosecutors, the 31-year-old former lineman became angry at Dimitri Geier, when he tried to pour soy sauce on his rice. The 6’7,” 240-pound player also accused Geier of stealing his underwear. The disagreement allegedly escalated when Harris allegedly pinned Geier against a window and pummeled him on his face and head.
Harris’ lawyer, Alin Cintea, countered this version of events, though, arguing that his client only threw one punch Geier’s way during the whole scuffle — and it was only done in self-defense.
The alleged “one punch” reportedly resulted in Geier suffering several facial fractures that required him to go under the knife.
The much-publicized arrest yanked Harris out of the closet as a gay man, and now he has become a mouthpiece of sorts, speaking about the plight of gay athletes in sports. Harboring the secret about his sexual orientation caused Harris much grief according to an interview with NFL.com earlier this year, where he discussed his difficulty coming out.
“I didn’t see those two things as being compatible, but now when I look back in hindsight, if I could have done it differently, I’d like to think that I would find the strength, or find the fortitude or the grace to make the hard decision,” Harris reflected. “You want to escape this despair, this turmoil. Maybe your mind goes to dark places sometimes, but I would just say I’m happy today. I’m glad I didn’t actually…that those were just ideas, that I didn’t act on any of those things and it does, you know, it does get better.”
Harris, who was acquitted of felony domestic violence and assault, is scheduled to appear in court on November 12th for sentencing.