COVID-19 · Sports

Newsom catches heat over maskless appearance at 49ers-Rams game

Gov. Gavin Newsom was among a star-studded roster to attend Sunday’s all-California NFC Championship between his hometown San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. 

Following the Rams’ come-from-behind victory to punch a ticket to the LA-bound Super Bowl, California’s Governor was on the receiving end of a litany of comments over attending the game maskless. 

California’s extended indoor mask mandate has already affected Super Bow LVI, with the NFL requiring attendees to wear KN95 masks during the game. It is set to expire on Feb. 15.

At a press conference Monday, Newsom claimed that he only took off his mask to have a “glass of water” and take a photo with former professional basketball player Magic Johnson. 

“I was very judicious yesterday. Very judicious. And you’ll see in the photo that I did take, where Magic was kind enough, generous enough to ask me for a photograph, and in my left hand’s my mask and I took a photo. The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should. Not when I had a glass of water and I encourage everybody else to do so.”

But he appeared to be maskless at other points during Sunday’s NFC championship, including in an image captured by the Rams “fan cam,” which showed the governor sitting down with his mask dangling from one ear. 

Fox News contributed to this report.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.