Baltimore Ravens

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson cancels weekend event in South Florida, where COVID-19 cases are surging

Ravens quarterback and South Florida native Lamar Jackson has canceled his annual “Funday with LJ” event this weekend in Broward County, a spokesperson for the event confirmed Tuesday to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

With strict social-distancing guidelines in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Pompano Beach, Florida, had set limits on the event’s attendance, the spokesperson said. Because of the number of people already registered for the event, Jackson decided to cancel the event rather than turn away any.


On Monday, Jackson had shared a flyer on Instagram for the two-day event, which advertised some of the activities available — flag football games, go-karts, water slides — and noted, in smaller print, that children had to sign a waiver to participate. Face masks for adults were also mandatory, according to the flyer. “NO EXCEPTION,” Jackson wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post.

Jackson’s event was scheduled to start exactly a week after Florida, a coronavirus hot spot, reported a single-day record of 11,458 cases. The state added more than 7,300 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and set a daily record for positivity rate.


In Broward County, according to Florida’s health department, there were 22,595 confirmed cases and 418 deaths as of Tuesday. Officials in the county, which has an estimated population of 1.95 million, met Monday to discuss possible public health measures. Neighboring Miami-Dade County has already announced that it is shutting down restaurants and gyms again beginning Wednesday.

Because Broward County is still in Phase 1 of Florida’s reopening, Jackson’s event likely would have violated public safety requirements. According to the city website for Pompano Beach, Jackson’s hometown, “Social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people are not allowed.”

While young athletes tend to be less at risk for severe COVID-19 infections, a positive test for Jackson could delay his return to Ravens training camp, which is set to open July 28. Under the NFL’s new coronavirus protocol, individuals who test positive but are asymptomatic are barred from returning for at least 10 days since their initial positive test or until they’ve produced two straight negative diagnostic tests and waited five days since the initial positive test.

If an individual tests positive and shows symptoms, they can’t return until at least 10 days since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.