Lamar Jackson cancels party after backlash over 'Funday' planned amid Florida's COVID-19 outbreak

Yahoo Sports

As of Tuesday morning, Lamar Jackson still planned to hold his annual “Funday with LJ” event amid a hotbed of COVID-19 cases in South Florida.

Those plans changed by Tuesday afternoon.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback and reigning NFL MVP canceled the event after backlash over public health concerns. A spokesperson for the event confirmed the cancellation to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Go-karts and flag football

The event billed as a play day for children promised go-kart racing, a rock climbing wall, 7-on-7 flag football, water slides, an obstacle course, a game truck and a food truck. It also promised Jackson, who has hosted the party in his hometown of Pompano Beach, Florida, the last two years.

This year’s event was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the city’s McNair Park. Adults were required to wear masks. Children were not.

Jackson promoted the party as late as Monday night on an Instagram flyer. That Instagram post has now been removed.

Lamar Jackson promoted the play day in a South Florida park as recently as Monday night. (AP Photo/John Munson)
Lamar Jackson promoted the play day in a South Florida park as recently as Monday night. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Florida’s COVID-19 problem

The concern, of course, was the increased risk of spreading the coronavirus in a state in the throes of an outbreak. Florida set a single-day record for new COVID-19 cases on Saturday with 11,458. The outbreak is particularly bad in South Florida.

Dade County (51,061 cases, 1,057 deaths), Broward County (22,597 cases, 418 deaths) and Palm Beach County (17,645 cases, 563 deaths) have the highest number of recorded COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state. Pompano Beach resides in Broward County which is bordered on the north and the south by Palm Beach County and Dade County.

The state recorded its highest rate of positive cases yet on Tuesday, with 20.8 percent of COVID-19 tests yielding positive results.

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