June 14, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Many fans in Tampa celebrated Super Bowl win without masks

Great news out of Tampa — the COVID-19 pandemic is over!

Oh wait, hold on. That’s not the great news coming out of Tampa at all. The actual great news for local residents is that GOAT quarterback Tom Brady chose to win his latest Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But following their team’s 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on their home field at Raymond James Stadium, many of those fans celebrated as if the pandemic was over — maskless and pressed against each other as if the last 11 months or so never happened and breathing in water droplets spewing from the mouths of complete strangers is still perfectly fine.

Some fans also proceeded to take part in other behaviors that were unrelated to the coronavirus but nonetheless hazardous to their well-being, such as climbing and swinging from street lights, overtaking a bus and taking on police officers.

Well, it’s not as if they were warned in advance against such behaviors — oh wait, yes they were. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor signed an executive order requiring face coverings to be worn during Super Bowl festivities.

The crowd inside the stadium was capped at 25,000 and masks were required to attend. In addition, some 200,000 masks were handed out for locals to use during and after the game. Castor said Monday that “a majority” of people followed the rules.

But she clearly was frustrated at those who contributed to what was potentially a superspreader event.

“It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard,” she said. “At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”