'Absolute disgrace': Outrage over 'disgusting' scenes at Super Bowl

NFL fans, pictured here during Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.
Fans take a selfie during Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Health authorities already worried that the Super Bowl will spark a super-spreader event certainly wouldn’t be happy to see fans without their masks at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday (local time).

Up to 22,000 spectators were allowed into the 66,000-seat stadium in Tampa for America’s showcase event between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.

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However the main provisos were that fans socially-distanced and wore face masks, with the only exception to the mask rule around eating and drinking.

So there was understandable anger around America during the first half of Sunday’s game.

Crowd shots during the early entertainment and first half play showed dozens of fans either wearing their masks incorrectly, or not at all.

TV viewers flocked to social media to condemn the “disgraceful” scenes.

Officials express concern about Super Bowl parties

Health authorities’ worst fears were realised over the weekend with fans flocking to downtown Tampa to celebrate in large numbers.

The nation’s top health officials sounded the alarm this week about the Super Bowl being a potential super-spreader event, and they urged people to gather with friends over Zoom, not in crowds.

However residents in Tampa were seen partying without masks or social-distancing on the city’s historic Seventh Avenue on Saturday night.

Concerning photos emerged from the strip in Tampa’s Ybor City neighbourhood, showing hundreds of people packed together, many without masks.

Tampa Bay Times photographer Luis Santana said the crowd would have reached the tens of thousands, saying it was the “wildest he’d ever seen” the neighbourhood.

NFL fans, pictured here at Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Fans are seen prior to Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

“I’m worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly,” said Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

“People gather, they watch games together. We’ve seen outbreaks already from football parties.

“So I really do think that we need to watch this and be careful.”

Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, also issued a warning against holding parties to celebrate.

“Absolutely not. I mean, watch the Super Bowl on TV, enjoy it. Have a party in your house with your family with the people who are there,” he said.

“But you don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with, you just don’t know if they’re infected.

“So as difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it.”

with Associated Press

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