During a virulent global pandemic that has killed more Americans than the U.S. conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and World War I combined, Sin City Classic has decided to bring thousands of LGBTQ athletes together in 2021 for its annual sporting event in Las Vegas.
The event’s organizers and its hosts, The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA), have planned the event to take place from January 14 to 17, with athletes competing in outdoor venues in sports like kickball, running, softball, and tennis, according to the LGBTQ athletics website Outsports.
The publication reports that the event has slimmed down its offerings from 24 to just 4, reduced its goal of 8,000 attendees to 3,000, decided against extra non-sports events, and mandated all organizers to provide a COVID-19 Preparedness & Safety Plan to the State of Nevada’s Department of Business and Industry before the event takes place.
But while the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association has approved high school athletes to play non-contact sports beginning in January, the Sin City Classic website only contains one mention of COVID-19 on a page highlighting the cancellation of its indoor rowing events. It contains no other mentions of precautions or guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Participants and teams will celebrate as they see fit for themselves,” Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler wrote of the event. “For so many people kept away from the sports they love, and many of them staying away from friends and teammates, it will be a welcome respite from the isolation of the reaction to the pandemic.”
However, holding a massive sporting event during a pandemic seems questionable at best and deadly at worst, especially since Nevada experienced its highest ever daily toll of newly reported COVID-19 cases last week, with 2,068 cases in one day.
Clark County, the region containing Las Vegas, is the number one county in the state with the highest overall number of coronavirus infections and deaths: 91,859 cases and 1,593 deaths so far — that’s five times as many cases as the second-highest county and over seven times as many deaths.
LGBTQ Nation contacted Sin City Classic for comment. They did not respond by publication time.