Photos show Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and at least one other elected official maskless at Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers-Los Angeles Rams football game, despite a mandate that face coverings be worn when people are not eating or drinking.
Hanging out at SoFi Stadium today! pic.twitter.com/XfotiRLGz9
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 31, 2022
SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where the game took place, says masks are “required for all attendees” and can “only be removed to actively eat or drink, after which they must be immediately put back on.”
Los Angeles County, where the game took place, also requires people attending large indoor and outdoor events to mask up, and California requires residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces. In addition to Newsom and Breed, the photos also show Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti without a mask covering his face.
There were plenty of other football fans and Hollywood celebrities also ditching masks. But the photos, posted by former Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson, drew immediate fire from conservative critics of Newsom and the Democratic mayors, who have touted masking as an important tool for controlling the coronavirus pandemic, blasting them for failing to follow their own rules.
Republican state Sen. Melissa Melendez tweeted, “Toddlers are being forced to wear masks all day long in school. Maybe one day they’ll be governor or the mayor of LA and they won’t have (to) follow the rules they impose on others.”
Toddlers are being forced to wear masks all day long in school. Maybe one day they’ll be governor or the mayor of LA and they won’t have the follow the rules they impose on others. pic.twitter.com/YGJDZeBxGA
— Senator Melissa Melendez (@senatormelendez) January 31, 2022
Spokespeople for Newsom and Breed did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The photos surfaced as the infectious omicron variant is continuing to spread widely in the state.
It’s not the first time Newsom and Breed have been accused of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do behavior. Breed was seen several months ago without a mask at a San Francisco nightclub, despite a city mandate requiring them. And Newsom helped fuel a recall attempt that he ultimately defeated when he was spotted without a mask in 2020 at a dinner party at the French Laundry in Napa while urging residents to stay home.
SoFi Stadium is set to host the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. Health officials have said attendees will be given KN95 masks when they arrive in an effort to provide everyone with a highly protective facial covering and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whether football fans actually wear them remains to be seen.