After videos of maskless Buccaneers fans celebrating the team’s Super Bowl win spread on social media, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said she was frustrated by people who had flouted her executive order requiring face coverings in certain outdoor areas of the city.
But another image that’s being shared on Facebook accuses the mayor of hypocrisy.
“BREAKING,” reads a screenshot of a tweet. “At a press conference Monday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said that maskless fans at the Super Bowl will be ‘identified’ by law enforcement and that police will ‘handle’ the situation.”
The words “Jane Castor,” “maskless” and “identified” are circled in red, with an arrow pointing to a photo showing Castor sitting next to a man wearing a mask while nothing is covering her face.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) There are a couple things wrong with it.
First, Castor wasn’t talking about authorities identifying and dealing with maskless fans. She was referring to a “few bad actors” who vandalized street signs and other property.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banned municipalities from fining people who refused to wear masks in September. The city of Tampa didn’t issue citations to people who weren’t wearing a mask, a mayor’s office spokesperson told Newsweek.
As for the photo, Castor can be seen sitting next to two people wearing Tampa Bay Lightning jerseys. The hockey team won the Stanley Cup in 2020. A spokesperson for the city told Newsweek that the photo was taken during a celebration for the team at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 30. (The city did not respond to our request for comment.)
Castor, who gave a speech at the stadium that evening, posted photos of herself without a mask during a boat parade to mark the Stanley Cup victory. She’s drawn criticism for complaining about maskless Super Bowl partiers when she didn’t wear one during the revelry for the Lightning.
But this photo doesn’t show her at the Super Bowl and she wasn’t talking about authorities trying to identify maskless fans.
We rate that claim False.
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