National News

Gay Softball World Series goes on despite poor air quality in Portland

Posted September 7

— The International Gay Softball League flew in nearly 4,000 people to play in the Rose City.

While the games are expected to generate millions of dollars for the area, the league is not taking any risks with its players.

Ninety-nine percent of the players for the Gay Softball World Series touched down in Portland this week.

The players said when they got to one of several fields on Tuesday, it was covered in ash.

"Ash was everywhere. It was getting in our eyes, in your mouth, it was so hard to run," said player Anthony Fields.

His teammate said, "They had to get a leaf blower to blow all of the ash out of the dugout before we could get in there, so it was pretty gross."

Some of the players came from Houston, hoping to escape.

"It's not much better in Houston but we didn't have the smoke," said player Charlie Murray.

Murray just battled through flooding from Hurricane Harvey. He was hoping conditions would be better here in Portland.

"It made us question coming in because of the air quality and the smoke, but so far it's pretty good," he said.

Chris Balton, the commissioner of the league, said they were in touch with local doctors with concerns about air quality.

"We have paramedics at all fields across Portland. We had no incidences reported today, we had a breeze so it cleared up as you can see now no ash, great weather," Balton said.

According to doctors, people most at risk of getting sick already have underlying health conditions like asthma, lung disease and COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They have advised people if they do not need to be outside, stay indoors with the air conditioner running.

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