Super Bowl crowd boo after Bidens call for Covid moment of silence

Crowd included thousands of medical workers, who the Bidens thanked for their efforts

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Tuesday 09 February 2021 18:54
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Before the Super Bowl kicked off, the crowd in Tampa, Florida, reportedly cheered and booed during a moment of silence, after the Bidens asked the crowd to observe silence for the more than 460,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19.

“Now as we thank you and all of our essential workers, let's remember, we all can do our part to save lives,” the president said in the message, joined by first lady Jill Biden in a video address. “Wear a mask. Stay socially distanced. Get tested. Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. And most of all, let's’ remember all those who we've lost.”

Some fans watching the show online thought they could hear boos ringing out from the unofficial feeds of the broadcast.

"Was that a boo I hear from the crowd when Biden asked for us to have a moment of silence for +400K lost due to the Covid 19? #SuperBowl," Twitter user @CallMeNokes wrote. "Wow. That speaks volumes."

"Biden getting boo’d," another user, @TheBSweet noted. "A reminder Trump won Florida and is beloved there. #SuperBowl."

The NFL did not respond to a request for comment.

No matter the president and first lady were booed, the spectacle of a stadium full of fans during the pandemic was a jarring one, and public health officials warned it could help further spread coronavirus.

“I’m worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly. People gather, they watch games together. We’ve seen outbreaks already from football parties,” Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last week. “So I really do think that we need to watch this and be careful.”

Dr Anthony Fauci also warned Americans they should “just lay low and cool it” the day of the big game.

That didn’t stop the championship from going off, or fans from veering away from public health guideline. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs played to a stadium at one-third capacity, though that still was around 22,000 fans. About a third of the crowd were already vaccinated healthcare workers.

Read more: Trump impeachment live: Historic trial shows damning video of ex-president and Capitol riots

Prior to theevent, the city began requiring masks outside in certain high-traffic zones, and moved much of the pre-game activities, where masks and social distancing was required. 

After the Buccaneers won in front of their hometown crowd, thousands of maskless fans hit the streets, following a weekend that saw celebrities like rapper 50 Cent and Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy throw parties that attracted throngs of maskless attendees.

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