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This is just nuts

NY Firefighters Refuse to Play Against Gay Team.

Members of a rugby team made up at least partially of New York City firefighters, including one featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, refused to play a game against the Gotham Knights gay rugby team after one of the firefighters asked the gay team if they could guarantee that none of their players were HIV-positive.

As Gotham team leaders went over strategy prior to their quarterfinal match against the team, called Rock B/Fire, in the 30th Annual Rockaway Rugby Sevens Tournament in Queens on Saturday, June 17, a player from the Fire team approached the Knights, said Eric Merfalen, a 26-year-old back for the team.

“He came up and said something like, ‘I don’t mean to be a jerk, but . . .’ and then he asked if we could all confirm that we were not HIV positive,” said Merfalen, who was standing with the group. “He asked us several times.” Merfalen was the only member of the Knights who agreed to have his name used for this story. He spoke with Outsports shortly after the incident, before Gotham club members were asked not to speak to the media.

So, would these fire fighters ask whether someone was HIV positive before they rescued them from a burning building?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding