AIDS/HIV | Florida | News

Man Kicked Off Basketball Team Because He Is HIV-Positive: VIDEO

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A 21-year-old man was thrown out of a Kissimmee, Florida City Parks and Recreation League basketball game this past Sunday - simply because he is HIV-positive. At the time, Dakota Basinger had been diagnosed with the disease for one week.

Basinger explained to the Orlando Sentinel what happened after a referee stopped the game in the second half:

"He called a timeout, which was rare," Basinger said. "He made both teams go to their benches."

Basinger said a city employee called him into a room and asked Basinger if he was HIV positive. Basinger, who was diagnosed a week ago and had posted the information on his Facebook page, said he was. Then, Basinger said, the employee told him that he would need to stop playing – for good.

"I feel humiliated and discriminated against," said Basinger, a rap artist who performs locally. "I felt horrible walking out of that gym." On Tuesday, a city spokeswoman said in a statement that a part-time city employee "acted independently and without supervisor approval" when he removed Basinger from the game.

"The city has taken corrective action to ensure this does not happen in the future," said Arin Thrower, spokeswoman for the city, adding that "as of right now," the employee still works for the city. Basinger will be allowed to play in the league again when it starts back up, Thrower said.

Basinger's mother, Lisa, was at the game and went with her son when the employee called him into a room to say he couldn't play. "I couldn't believe it," said the outraged mother. "I explained to them that they needed to educate themselves on HIV and that you cannot transmit HIV through spit or casual contact."

The city employee has been identified as Dale Boston, who had been working for the city of Kissimmee for eight months. According to WKMG, Boston resigned from his job yesterday.

On the same day of his resignation, a city representative called Basinger to apologize. A Kissimmee spokesperson then issued a statement about the incident:

On Sunday, April 13, 2014, a part-time Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities employee with the City of Kissimmee acted independently and without supervisor approval, when he removed a participant from a city recreational basketball game due to a medical condition. The city has taken corrective action to ensure this does not happen in the future.

Also, AFTER THE JUMP (autoplay), watch Basinger talk about his emotional experience the night he was kicked off of the basketball game in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.

Basinger is an aspiring rap singer. He revealed his HIV status in a new song he posted on his YouTube channel earlier this month. Listen, HERE.

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  1. That's screwed up.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 18, 2014 1:26:05 PM

  2. so sad for dakota, hope he has the support of friends during this rough time.

    has dale boston been living under a rock for the past 30 years? is dale 90 years old and only read, listen, or watch conservative news outlets? there has to be a reason for such staggering ignorance in the 21st century.

    "The city has taken corrective action to ensure this does not happen in the future."

    time will tell, at least they are aware of the issue and the source of the problem.

    Posted by: northalabama | Apr 18, 2014 1:26:14 PM

  3. Hope he gets the moneygrab he was really looking for....

    Posted by: styler | Apr 18, 2014 1:27:11 PM

  4. Hope he gets the moneygrab he was really looking for....

    Posted by: styler | Apr 18, 2014 1:27:12 PM

  5. galling, and yet i'm so glad he has the support of his family. a true wrong, and sharing this story will hopefully educate those who unfathomably still don't understand what HIV is and how it's transmitted.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 18, 2014 1:39:39 PM

  6. If only his mother had educated him on how it is transmitted.

    Posted by: Carmelo | Apr 18, 2014 1:44:28 PM

  7. I'm glad it wasn't sanctioned and the city has corrected the situation.

    Posted by: Will | Apr 18, 2014 1:44:30 PM

  8. City officials had better start groveling and offer this young man compensation and a full public apology for their employee's discriminatory act. I wouldn't let this slide if I were Dakota - not for one minute. I would rake the city coffers up one side and down the other.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 18, 2014 1:46:54 PM

  9. BTW - Dear God Towleroad - when the hell are all these popups going to cease? Day after day, page after page I'm fighting off your ridiculous popups because they block the articles or information repeatedly. It is ridiculous.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 18, 2014 1:49:18 PM

  10. @MIKERYAN - get the ghostery or adblock plus plugins for firefox/chrome. No more ads. The internet turns into a wonderful place.

    Posted by: jeo | Apr 18, 2014 2:06:37 PM

  11. Sharing this story will hopefully educate those who unfathomably still don't understand what Facebook is and how it's transmitted.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Apr 18, 2014 2:20:23 PM

  12. It's nice to see that the city of Kissimmee hires the mentally handicapped, but they should not be placed in positions to make critical decisions.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Apr 18, 2014 3:00:33 PM

  13. Dakota is a nice looking dude. Just saying.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 18, 2014 3:15:03 PM

  14. Obviously the discrimination was wrong and illegal. i doubt that part-time employee will be around much longer.

    But it would be nice if someone - anyone - expressed some concern about the fact that a 21 year old man got infected with HIV. It is amazing the way that is considered a morally neutral event, upon which no comment can be made. The sting of the discriminatory act will fade, but that HIV is with him for life. It is a fair bet that he lopped off 15-20 years off of his life. We should be asking how it is he got it. How is it that he didn't know or care enough to prevent getting it?

    Posted by: Andrew | Apr 18, 2014 3:28:49 PM

  15. Sue the city for violating the ADA anyway.

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 18, 2014 3:30:13 PM

  16. Is he gay?? Is everyone who is HIV gay???

    Wow. LGBTQ people really don't need anyone but themselves to stereotype who they are!

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 18, 2014 4:00:33 PM

  17. A bad story with the right outcome. Excellent!

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Apr 18, 2014 4:20:43 PM

  18. I know I'll get pilloried for this, but doesn't it make sense for him to get his viral load under control before he plays contact sports? He was diagnosed only a week earlier, and it might still be sky high.

    Posted by: Merv | Apr 18, 2014 5:06:17 PM

  19. Andrew you need to get with the times, with antiviral therapy started at the correct time the life expectancy of HIV positive individuals is basically the same as those without HIV.
    Further Andrew, how he contracted the HIV virus is none of your business. Just as non-smokers get lung cancer, people who follow the CDC guidelines still get infected.

    Posted by: NwYrkr | Apr 18, 2014 5:46:53 PM

  20. this really the issue? Should local governments be scouring social media for things like this(I know it was probably forwarded by a "concerned citizen")...and again, you post your life unfiltered on the internet for everyone to see there are going to consequences(and maybe he wanted consequences, who knows). They were wrong, but we are not arguing that, we just ignoring the real issue, you don't want people all up in your business, stop telling them. Still not right what the official did, just how would they know otherwise, privacy goes both ways.

    Posted by: epic | Apr 18, 2014 7:13:03 PM

  21. Nwyrkr:

    None of my business? Shouldn't we care about young people getting infected? If he got bashed or if he committed suicide, we would treat it as a problem and would want to know what caused it. It is only because you want to keep on keeping on with your Grindr life that you desperately want to avoid any discussion of how a 21 y.o. gets infected in 2014.

    And no, sorry, but life spans are not "basically the same". I shudder to think that you use "basically" to wave away lost years of human life like it is a nuisance.

    UR a pretty deranged a-hole, nwyrker, and gay youth aren't well-served by having anything to do with you. Please stay away from them.

    Posted by: Andrew | Apr 19, 2014 12:11:54 AM

  22. Andrew , everyone who is sexually active is, at risk of contracting HIV.Obviously some sexual acts are riskier than others .Using condoms lessens your risk but it doesn't eliminate risk completely.Maybe you are celibate and if so, great for you.Whether this guy got HIV from oral, anal, with or without a condom is beside the point.He has HIV and shouldn't be banned from playing basketball.

    Posted by: Kim | Apr 19, 2014 11:39:12 AM

  23. Merv, there has not been one case of transmission by playing sports, whether high or low viral load. Andrew- Stop being the sex police. People get herpes these days too, rubbers can break, etc... Yawn.

    Posted by: Tom | Apr 19, 2014 1:51:40 PM

  24. @Rowan: Yes, he's gay. No, not everyone who contracts HIV is gay. Nobody but you even brought his orientation into the conversation, much less "stereotyped" him.

    @Kim: Not every sexually-active person is at risk for HIV. It is possible to have a sex life with zero HIV risk.
    When Jocelyn Elders was Surgeon General, she got fired (after right-wing outrage) for suggesting teens should be aware that masturbation is not risky. We knew even at the height of the epidemic that there were a lot of sex activities that are NOT risky, but sex-ed teachers were often intimidated into not describing them out loud.
    In a climate where teens can't even be made aware of facts like that, they end up making up their own sexual rules that can be based on rumors or imitating what they saw in porn.
    We have long had enough knowledge to end this epidemic, but obstacles are thrown in the way.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 19, 2014 1:57:19 PM

  25. he was his own undoing. From reading this article he posted on his own facebook page about his h_i_v status so why would you be mad if someone read his update on facebook and then reported it. Oversharing at its finest!

    Posted by: CC | Apr 19, 2014 2:54:02 PM

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