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Jock Talk: World Ouchgames, continued

by Roger Brigham

Track and field athlete Giampiero Mancinelli wants a<br>refund for the canceled Outgames.
Track and field athlete Giampiero Mancinelli wants a
refund for the canceled Outgames.  

Despite widespread calls for the end of the World Outgames from angry LGBT athletes in the wake of the last-minute cancelation of the 2017 Miami World Outgames, as well as three past presidents of the licensing body for the event, the board of the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association sent a letter to registrants last week saying it is sorry for past mistakes, but indicated it plans to remain in business, leaving open the possibility for a World Outgames 5.

"We deeply regret Miami Outgames organizers' failure to comply with the scheduled sports, and our own limitations with regards to our local oversight over the delivery of such scheduled sports program," the unnamed GLISA board wrote. "We take seriously the criticism we received, and will work diligently to address our mistakes so that we can build upon and continue to celebrate the vitality and diversity of our LGBTIQ+ communities."

Unsurprisingly, the letter triggered numerous hostile responses on GLISA's Facebook page.

"Is this a joke?" track and field athlete Giampiero Mancinelli wrote in response to GLISA's letter. "We want money back, travel expenses refund[ed], and full accountability – this includes, first and foremost, YOU the GLISA Board, whoever you are. You didn't even have the grace to sign with your names. But then you have been absent the whole process, shame on you."

"We received 'assurances' from the GLISA board that World Outgames Miami would be okay despite all the red flags that were raised by *many* people," swimmer Dick Smith wrote on Facebook. "GLISA lied to us as much as Outgames Miami did and I simply don't trust that GLISA will give us the answers we deserve."

Argentina reportedly sent 50 registrants to Miami and a group in Buenos Aires is actively seeking to host the World Outgames in 2021.

"Buenos Aires in 2021?" Dane McManus of Britain wrote on Facebook. "Who are you kidding? You think GLBTIQ sporting organizations will promote your events to their teams after this? How can you even think you can move forward when the trust you had with the community has been totally obliterated? I would have been sad to say this previously but now I am just angry. Time to do the honorable thing and cease to exist."

Outgames organizers had told Miami Beach officials in 2013 that they expected their event would bring in more than $88 million to the greater Miami area. Their projections included 2,000 conference participants bringing in a total 1,000 friends or family members and staying five nights in local hotels; cultural events bringing in 2,000 participants and twice that many friends and family for 10 nights; and sports bringing in just below 12,000 participants and another 24,000 friends and family, staying 10 nights in hotels.

In reality, sports drew just 2,000 registrants and the conference and cultural events were lightly attended.

 

Go Warriors – but not to the White House

As soon as the Golden State Warriors completed their historic run through the NBA playoffs Monday with their second championship victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in three years, rumors began to fly that the Warriors would decline the traditional visit to the White House to pose with the president.

Noting the outspoken criticism of the president offered in the past by coach Steve Kerr (who called him hopelessly unfit for office), star guard Stephen Curry (who said he'd be more comfortable with the description by the executive of his athletic wear sponsor if the executive had described Donald Trump as an "ass" rather than an "asset"), and reserve David West (who has said the president represents the opposite of the values he tries to instill in the young athletes with whom he interacts), two people began to say that unnamed sources had told them that the team had unanimously voted not to go to the White House.

Then again, an invitation hasn't been made yet and it would be difficult to envision that conversation occurring in the joyous celebration going on at the time.

"Today is all about celebrating our championship," the team said in an official press statement. "We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary."

 

Giants LGBT Night

Tickets are still available for the Giants LGBT Night, a 7:15 p.m. game Monday, June 26, against the Colorado Rockies. Special event tickets include a 5 to 7 p.m. LGBT Night pre-game party and a limited edition LGBT Giants scarf. Partial proceeds from each special event ticket will be donated to local nonprofits in the LGBT community. Information is available under the Special Events menu at http://www.mlb.com/giants.

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