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The Democrat mayor of St. Petersberg, Florida, has threatened rapper 50 Cent with fines for holding a Super Bowl bash amid a slowly receding coronavirus pandemic.
Held Friday night at a private airport hangar in St. Petersburg, the Super Bowl bash featured a large number of mostly unmasked attendees, according to TMZ.
“Doors opened at 9 PM with tickets ranging from $85 for general admission to $7k for a stage table … judging from the crowd there was enough disposable income to fill the joint,” the gossip outlet reported Saturday.
“Tampa’s own DJ Fresh performed as well and everyone was very clearly up for a wild and good time. The party barreled on way past midnight, and more is in store tonight, when 50’s set to perform again.”
See scenes from the party below:
When St. Petersberg Mayor Rick Kriseman learned of what had happened, he issued a veiled threat insinuating that he intends to fine the rapper “a lot more than 50 cent[s]” for violating the town’s particularly restrictive coronavirus regulations.
This isn’t how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl. It’s not safe or smart. It’s stupid. We’re going to take a very close look at this, and it may end up costing someone a lot more than 50 cent. @TMZhttps://t.co/Vrvg8fTdBB
— Rick Kriseman (@Kriseman) February 6, 2021
“This isn’t how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl. It’s not safe or smart. It’s stupid. We’re going to take a very close look at this, and it may end up costing someone a lot more than 50 cent,” he wrote.
There may be a problem, though. Last September, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order forbidding local governments from imposing fines and penalties for violations of coronavirus mask mandates.
To be clear, the state itself has no mask mandate. Local Democrat-run towns like St. Petersberg, among others, have however adopted their own mask mandates. They’ve also tried to sidestep the governor’s restrictions on mask mandate fines.
After DeSantis signed the order in September, Kriseman signed an order of his own demanding businesses implement their own mask mandate or face a municipal ordinance violation, which is punishable by fines of up to a paltry $513 each.
Rapper 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, is reportedly worth millions.
Despite Kriseman’s runaround, DeSantis never came after him, though he did release a statement last month doubling down on his opposition to mask mandate fines.
“We will categorically not allow any local government to lock people down. We will not let any local government kick anybody out of their job,” he told reporters at the time.
“We will not let any local government fine individual Floridians. We will not let any local government shut down schools. And we’re not going to let any local governments do those things.”
DESANTIS IN PENSACOLA: Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding a news conference from Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. http://bit.ly/38b31YA
Posted by FOX 13 News – Tampa Bay on Wednesday, January 6, 2021
As of Sunday morning, Jackson had not yet responded to Kriseman’s report.
Meanwhile, another high-profile figure from the music industry, DJ Steve Aoki, is facing attacks for participating in his own unmasked Super Bowl party Friday night. And not just any party, but one reportedly hosted by Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports.
Like Jackson, Aoki was also outed by TMZ.
“The famed DJ headlined at WTR Tampa Pool inside the Godfrey Waterfront Hotel, in front of a massive, mostly maskless crowd … you see a few masks, but that’s about it. As for social distancing … haha,” the gossip outlet reported Saturday.
See scenes from the party below:
According to local station WFLA, the event provoked the anger of the Tampa Police Department.
“Scenes from WTR last night and a few other clubs were incredibly disappointing. The city spent the better part of a year educating residents on precautions due to the pandemic and have recently put a mask order in place for both the entertainment and event zones to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors to our great city,” the department said in a statement.
“When the governor lifted the capacity restrictions and opened bars, we turned to the tight-knit hospitality community to reopen safe and sound but there’s a level of personal responsibility that must be followed or risk getting shut down.”
Despite the city’s complaints, the venue where BarStool Sports’ event was held went on to hold more events Saturday evening, including one featuring Jackson.
“In a press release, WTR mentioned it will have performances from hip hop group Migos from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and then a performance from Diplo and 50 Cent starting at 9 p.m.,” according to WFLA.
Even more events are reportedly planned for Super Bowl Sunday.
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