Fla. Man Kicked Off Basketball Team Because He is HIV-Positive
A Florida man was booted from his local recreational basketball team after a city employee found out he is HIV-positive, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Dakota Basinger, 21, was on the Florida Dream Sports team, sponsored by the Florida city of Kissimmee, all season -- that is until a playoff game at Denn John Middle School that took place last Sunday.
Basinger told the newspaper a referee called time out and asked both teams to go to the benches. He said a city employee then called him into a room in the gym and asked him if he was HIV-positive.
Basinger, who just learned of his status a week ago and made a Facebook post about it, told the employee he was positive. The employee told him he would have to stop playing for the team.
"I feel humiliated and discriminated against," Basinger, told the Orlando Sentinel. "I felt horrible walking out of that gym."
It is unclear how the employee knew Basinger’s HIV status.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Arin Thrower, a city spokeswoman said the part-time city employee "acted independently and without supervisor approval" when he kicked out Basingera.
"The city has taken corrective action to ensure this does not happen in the future," Thrower said. She added that Basinger will be allowed back on the team, however.
According to Click Orlando, Kissimmee officials said the employee, identified as Dale Boston, a part-time recreation leader with the city’s Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities department, resigned from his position Thursday.
Boston was employed with the city for less than eight months and was not told by any city official to remove Basinger from the basketball team.
Basinger’s mother, Lisa Basinger, was at the game last weekend when Boston removed her son.
"I couldn’t believe it," she told the Orlando Sentinel. "I explained to them that they needed to educate themselves on HIV and that you cannot transmit HIV through spit or casual contact."