Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shrugs off maskless Super Bowl crowds in Tampa by saying he’s ‘damn proud of the Bucs’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shrugs off maskless Super Bowl crowds in Tampa by saying he’s ‘damn proud of the Bucs’
Photo via Ron DeSantis/Twitter

During a press conference in Venice on Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tore into a reporter’s reasonable question regarding the maskless Super Bowl celebrations in Tampa, by saying well, he likes sports. 

Since Florida currently leads the country in cases of the new highly contagious U.K. variant, a reporter asked the governor to respond to the near endless photos and videos showing maskless crowds that occurred before and after Super Bowl 55 in Tampa. However, rather than showing concern over the issue, the governor instead ripped the reporter apart for trying to establish some sort of anti-sports narrative.

“The media is worried about that, obviously,” he said. “You don’t care as much if it’s a ‘peaceful protest,’ then it’s fine. You don’t care as much if they’re celebrating a Biden election. You only care about it if it’s people you don’t like. I’m a Bucs fan. I’m damn proud of what they did.”

At that point, a small round of applause erupted from nearby Florida GOP Chair Joe Gruters and Vice Chair Christian Ziegler, who both seemed to enjoy the savory combo of false equivalencies and shitting on a journalist for doing their job and asking relevant questions. 

As of last Friday, Florida reported 201 infections of the U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7, which is the most in the country by a long shot. California currently has the second most, with 150 cases. In the Tampa Bay area, where we are currently enjoying a maskless Super Bowl boat parade, 20 cases were found in Hillsborough County, 19 in Pinellas, six in Pasco and one in Hernando.

Experts expect the variant to be the dominant strain by March.

This story first appeared in our sister newspaper Creative Loafing Tampa.

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