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Sickle Cell Test Plan by the NCAA

Posted Sep 17 2009 10:02pm
This article was shared at the NING sickle cell forum. The content itself wasn't bad, it just stated that the NCAA was considering mandatory screening of all players to prevent those that have sickle cell trait from adverse health outcomes.

The premise of it sounds pretty good, screen all players to protect the ones with sickle cell trait from dying or passing out due to grueling workouts; but for some reason, I can totally see the potential for this becoming very, very bad.

Remember in X-men, when they started 'screening' mutants. And then it turned out that they were creating a database to segregate them with? That's what I first thought of on reading this article. I can understand why some people are alarmed with SC trait players collapsing or dying, but if you link the sickle cell trait to this; then you are automatically increasing the stigma that sickle cell patients already have. You're pretty much saying that because we have this trait, we aren't going to be good enough to play sports with the 'normal people'. This article really rubbed me the wrong way.

We are supposed to end the discrimination not further perpetuate it. I would like input though...am I going off on a tangent here? What did you think about it?

I just have to add this quote that was towards the end of the article:

The United States has a long history of discrimination against people with sickle cell trait, said Troy Duster, a sociologist at UC Berkeley and New York University. In the 1960s, people who tested positive weren't allowed into the Air Force Academy, and into the '70s people were denied insurance or certain jobs, he said.

It's irresponsible to screen people when there's little scientific evidence that the gene causes death and no specific precautions athletes can take to protect themselves, Duster said.

So what are your thoughts? Speak on it


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