The Washington Post

HIV-positive player kicked off Florida rec-league basketball team

A Florida man was briefly kicked out of a recreation-league basketball game because he is HIV positive.

Dakota Basinger, a 21-year-old St. Cloud man, was playing in a Kissimmee Parks and Recreation game when, four minutes into the second half of his team’s playoff game the referee stopped play and sent both teams to their benches, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Basinger, a rap artist, said he was summoned into a room by a city employee, who asked about his health status. When Basinger, who had posted about being HIV positive on Facebook, confirmed his status, the employee said he could no longer play at all.

“I feel humiliated and discriminated against,” Basinger said. “I felt horrible walking out of that gym.”

Just over 20 years ago, Magic Johnson was forced into retirement after announcing that he was HIV positive. Management of the disease has advanced tremendously since then, making it what happened to Basinger especially shocking. His mother, Lisa, said she explained “that they needed to educate themselves on HIV and that you cannot transmit HIV through spit or casual contact.”

A city employee, spokeswoman Arin Thrower told the Sentinel, was acting “independently and without supervisor approval.” She added that the city had taken “corrective action” and that Basinger would be allowed to play when the league starts back up.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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