CNN Reporter Aghast at Maskless, Drunk Super Bowl Crowds in Tampa: I Asked the Police, ‘What Are You Doing About This?’


I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” exclaimed a not-at-all surprised Captain Louis Renault in the classic film Casablanca, and CNN reporter Randi Kaye found herself shocked, shocked to find that Super Bowl crowds were drinking in Tampa before the big game.

Reporting live from downtown Tampa — where the hometown Bucs are the first ever team to play the big game in their own stadium — Kaye told CNN Newsroom anchor Ana Cabrera that their production team was “trying to enjoy it safely,” but it was very crowded and that’s why she was double masked.

“If you look at the scene, behind me you can see that a lot of people are here,” said Kaye. “They’re gathered. They’re already cheering for their favorite team. They’re outside. So it’s considered to be safer. And they are allowed to be here. They’re only supposed to take their masks off while they’re eating or drinking. But you can see quite a large crowd. Certainly not all in one single family or one single household that are mixing.”

Kaye then introduced a video clip from Saturday night in the Ybor City area, showing a “massive crowd, again, not many of them wearing a mask,” with Super Bowl revelers gathered outside the bars.

“There were some police there but we’re unsure about citations,” Kaye continued. “I spoke to the Tampa police and I asked them, ‘What are you doing about this?’ A lot of people were very concerned,” noting that the dance floors were full and many people were not wearing masks, despite local mandates.

“If you’re not wearing a mask and you can’t safely social distance, you could be fined up to $500, but that’s being largely ignored by many here in the city,” said Kaye. “The Tampa Police tell me that they’re very disappointed by what they’ve seen and some of these establishments do risk being shut down.”

The last thing local officials want “is for the Super Bowl to turn into a superspreader event,” said Kaye, channeling Rick’s friend Louis. “But the city is extremely crowded. Officials are asking people not to yell, not to cheer. But we’re already hearing that here. They know that that’s how the virus spreads. They’re very concerned about that. They also don’t want them to drink a lot of alcohol. But we’re seeing plenty of that as well. They say that’s when people let their guard down. They might not social distance and take all of the safety protocols that they need to be taking, Ana. A lot happening here in the city of Tampa. Of course, people are excited about the game. But there’s safety to be concerned about too.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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Sarah Rumpf joined Mediaite in 2020 and is a Contributing Editor focusing on politics, law, and the media. A native Floridian, Sarah attended the University of Florida, graduating with a double major in Political Science and German, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the UF College of Law. Sarah's writing has been featured at National Review, The Daily Beast, Reason, Law & Crime, Independent Journal Review, Texas Monthly, The Capitolist, Breitbart Texas, Townhall, RedState, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Austin-American Statesman, and her political commentary has led to appearances on the BBC, MSNBC, NewsNation, Fox 35 Orlando, Fox 7 Austin, The Young Turks, The Dean Obeidallah Show, and other television, radio, and podcast programs across the globe.