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Thousands of maskless football fans packed the streets of Tuscaloosa after the Alabama Crimson Tide’s national championship win — defying the mayor’s pleas to stay home and avoid a COVID-19 superspreader event.
Shocking videos and photos show the city streets completely jam-packed late Monday with jubilant fans — many not wearing masks as they hugged and kissed, AL.com noted.
Even before Alabama’s 52-24 thumping of Ohio State, fans were packed into local bars and restaurants to watch the game, many again sans face coverings despite local rules insisting on them, The Tuscaloosa News said.
The wild celebrations came as Alabama has recorded a recent spike in coronavirus cases, with 404,000 confirmed infections and more than 5,000 deaths since the pandemic started.
“COVID-19 has changed everything, and we even have to change the way that we celebrate,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox told fans Friday in a public plea for them to stay home, or at least wear masks and maintain social distance.
“There will be a time and place to celebrate, but this is not the time,” he said, making an “appeal to the better angTuscaloosaans’ nature to “protect our community” and celebrate at home “not out in the streets of Tscaloosa.”
The fans’ defiance outraged many online.
“Really just unfathomable ignorance here. Shameful to see,” one person wrote in reply to video shared by reporter James Benedetto.