Florida’s DeSantis Criticizes Media Over Coverage of Super Bowl Ralliers Not Wearing Masks

February 11, 2021 Updated: February 11, 2021

Florida’s governor on Wednesday criticized media outlets for focusing on post-Super Bowl crowds not wearing masks while reporting differently on protests last summer.

“The media is worried about that, obviously, you guys really love that. You don’t care as much, if it’s a, quote, peaceful protest, and then it’s fine. You don’t care as much if they’re celebrating a [Joe] Biden election, you only care about if it’s people that you don’t like,” Gov. Ron DeSantis told a press conference.

“So I’m a Bucs fan. I’m damn proud of what they did on Sunday night,” he added.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl over the weekend, after playing in a rare home game for the NFL’s top prize.

Celebrations spilled into city streets and media outlets repeatedly pointed out that some revelers neglected to wear masks, defying city rules.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor told reporters earlier this week that police officers would identify the maskless ralliers.

The Tampa Police Department “will handle it,” she added.

A police spokesperson referred The Epoch Times to another media contact, who didn’t return an inquiry.

Epoch Times Photo
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans celebrate their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LV in a street in downtown Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 7, 2021. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

Castor had issued an order before the game requiring people to wear masks outdoors when in areas near Raymond James Stadium. Violators faced fines of up to $500.

The Democrat has been pictured without a mask multiple times over the past year, triggering allegations of hypocrisy after her order and comments.

DeSantis was also spotted without a mask in an indoor suite at the game.

The Republican told reporters on Monday: “Someone said, ‘Hey, you were at the Super Bowl without a mask,’ But how the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on? Come on. I had to watch the Bucs win.”

DeSantis briefly touched on the Super Bowl during a briefing Thursday, telling reporters: “I would just want to commend, you know, we saw a lot of great plays in the Super Bowl, we saw Tom Brady connect with [Rob] Gronkowski.”

“But I got to tell you yesterday, in the boat parade, throwing the Lombardi Trophy, Brady to Gronk, one boat to another, that may have been the sweetest connection of all so hats off to those guys,” he added.

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