Serious questions

When superstar athlete Magic Johnson announced that he tested positive for the HIV virus, it brought forth a serious question. Should professional athletes with AIDS be allowed to compete in full contact sports?

There are many good arguments both for and against this case. When I asked myself this question, I took a realist approach. I tried to put myself in a different perspective. Imagine yourself, as I did, playing a full contact sport, one such as football or basketball. A sport where it is common place to get cut, or receive a bloody lip. This would put everyone around you at an awkward position, from the players to the trainers. Anyone who puts themselves at the opportunity to come in contact with the players is at risk.

With all the promiscuity associated with professional athletes, such as Wilt Chamberlin’s utterance that he slept with over 10,000 women in his playing days, it is naive to think that Magic is the only player with the HIV virus. With all do respect to these athletes, I feel that they should explore other opportunities to contribute to their sport. Opportunities such as front office positions or coaching their teammates. I feel that testing should be mandatory and guidelines drawn up on how the situation should be handled.

Someone with the HIV virus may live for as long as ten years without getting full blown AIDS. This is all the more reason to test these athletes. It is hard to conceive of an athlete going through the rigorous practice and playing that these players are put through without showing some of the symptoms.

It is pretty safe to say that Magic is not the only player with this virus, just the most heard of. It is now about time for the leagues to take some action, and administer some policies before someone catches the virus from another player and another disaster takes place.

yan McMillin