Code 99: Miami
Perhaps the most dramatic ethical crisis surrounding the use of mutant powers in everyday life occurred in sports. After initial resistance, both the NBA and major league baseball finally permitted the use of certain powers during play. The NFL also briefly experimented with a similarly permissive attitude, but, after several crippling injuries and one death on the field resulted from tackles by super-strong players,the attitude towards heightened players began to change dramatically.
In the NBA and Major Leagues, this took form as the “heightened draft”, where players were evaluated for their mutant abilities and assigned a number of points. Professional basketball and baseball teams use a point-buy system to recruit players, but are allowed only an allotted number of points of mutant ability per team. Use of heightened abilities is encouraged during regular play, so long as it doesn’t injure of harm other players.
In the NFL, however a strict ban on extrahumans has been enacted after the tragedies of 2017. The response to this, which the NFL helped to fund, was the EFL, the Extrahuman Football League. Currently, “mutant league” football is on par with baseline football in terms of ratings, although the athletes struggle for the lucrative salaries and endorsements of the NFL.
Hockey and soccer have remained mostly unchanged, with teams in these sports going out of their way to recruit heightened players who might present them with an advantage. This is starting to draw attention, however, and a point-buy system is being considered by the NHL and other international governing bodies of hockey. There are rumors of an all-out ban on extrahumans in FIFA-sanctioned league play, but these are never confirmed.
Mutant athletes continue to be barred from the Olympics, but several court cases threaten to overturn the IOC’s prohibitions on the grounds that they are discriminatory. The IOC has responded with plans for a summit in 2020, following the next round of Olympics, to consider either the allowance of extrahumans into the Olympic games, or the formation of a new form of Olympics for the heightened.
Needless to say, pro wrestling quickly embraced mutant powers in all their permutations. Matches are still quasi-scripted, with predetermined results and soap opera storylines, but now allow the combatants to use every power this side of radiation projection in the ring. Mutant wrestlers sweat to put on a good show while shielding their screaming audiences from stray lightning bolts and blood sprays.