By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)

Last week, the news shocked the LGBTQIA+ sports community when the news that Ken Scearce, director of the annual Sin City Classic passed away. Mr Scearce, 48, was found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home last Wednesday of an apparent heart attack, paramedics attempted to revive him but were unsuccessful. The official cause of death has not yet been determined.

“He was an extraordinary person and leader,” the Sin City Classic board said in a formal statement. “Ken poured his heart and soul into the Sin City Classic. It would not be what it is today without his love, leadership, and dedication. His loss is felt across the country because he cherished relationships with so many of you. Ken was passionate about this festival and we are committed to honoring his incomparable legacy.”

Scearce was an openly gay man who worked as a national account manager and was an avid softball player. He has held a leadership role for the Greater Los Angeles Area Softball League, was inducted into the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance Hall of Fame in 2014 and became the tournament director of the Sin City Classic, the largest annual LGBTQIA+ multi-sport event in the world, in 2017.

Scearce’s work has also been closely connected with Compete Sports Diversity, especially in regard to the Compete Sports Diversity Council where he served as a founding member.

“Like you, I was deeply saddened by the recent loss of Ken Scearce,” Compete Sports Diversity CEO, Eric Carlyle, shared. “I considered Ken a personal friend and was happy to work alongside him as we advanced sports diversity together. In addition, Ken was a founding member of the Compete Leadership Committee. Ken’s legacy lives on as one of the lights behind the Sin City Classic, an event Compete has partnered with for over ten years. Next year we will honor Ken’s memory at the Compete Sports Diversity Awards. As I pause for a minute, I am reminded how grateful I am for each of you, your efforts and your friendship.”

Scearce’s work and legacy live on with the Sin City Classic as well as his sister and his partner of 19 years, for whom they were planning to marry later this year. He will be greatly missed.