Super Bowl 2021 fans pepper sprayed and tackled by cops as thousands break Covid rules to party in streets
THOUSANDS of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans took to the streets last night to celebrate their home Super Bowl win ignoring Covid rules.
People were pepper sprayed and tackled by cops as revelers climbed trees and blocked busy intersections.
Fans waving American and Buccaneers flags were spotted climbing over vehicles and climbing up trees while some were seen ripping down road signs.
People hugged and ran between cars stuck on the streets for several hours while others let off fireworks in celebration.
Tampa officials had warned fans of fines up to $500 for violations against local health guidelines.
Footage posted to Twitter by Fox 13's Gloria Gomez shows crowd blocking traffic and turning at least one intersection into a dance floor.
In another video posted online, crowds of people were seen running after hearing gunshots in Tampa.
It is unclear who made the gunshots or if anyone was injured.
By midnight police began to reestablish order by dousing revelers in pepper spray.
Groups of cops directed fans to sidewalks in a bid to clear roads and crowded intersections.
Jane Castor, the Tampa mayor issued an executive order last month requiring masks to be worn outside during the Super Bowl festivities and the days following the game.
Last week top health officials warned that the Super Bowl has the potential to be a superspreader event and urged people to gather with friends and family over zoom.
"I'm worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly. People gather, they watch games together," said Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We've seen outbreaks already from football parties.
"So I really do think that we need to watch this and be careful."
The hashtag "SuperSpreaderBowl" began trending on Sunday night as viewers were distracted by the antics of the mask-less crowds ignoring social distancing rules.
One viewer tweeted an image of the fans with their masks pulled down around their necks and standing close together and captioned the image: "The real winner of the Super Bowl is Covid".
Precautions were put in place before the fans arrived at the stadium which included limiting the capacity to 30 per cent and requiring masks to be on except when eating and drinking.
However, as the night wore on fans at the big game were spotted cheering close together with some not wearing any protective face coverings.
CBS Sports noted that the stands may have looked more full than they were due to the cardboard cutouts that were used to fill most of the seats.
The excuse of cardboard cutouts didn't work for most Twitter-users with one saying: "Yup, lots of 'cardboard people' but still a lot of non cardboard people there."
On Saturday night, 2,000 people swarmed the Godfrey Waterfront Hotel to party at ta pre-Super Bowl bash.
The event's organizers, Dave Portnoy, and Barstool Sports said that "social distancing procedures will be strictly enforced, face masks will be required for all staff & guests".
According to TMZ, Diplo played to crowds who ignored social distancing rules with barely any of club-goers wearing masks.
The Tampa Police Department told TMZ that "scenes from WTR last night and a few other clubs were incredibly disappointing.
"The city spent the better part of a year educating residents on precautions due to the pandemic and have recently put a mask order in place for both the entertainment and event zones to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors to our great city."
The night before DJ Steve Aoki headlined another party at the same venue which was also Covid safe, according to TMZ.
Florida has just over 1.7million cases of coronavirus and has recorded 27,599 deaths.
Source: Read Full Article