LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson posted pictures on social media, in a suite with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, among others. In the photos, no one was wearing a mask.
Los Angeles County is still under a mask mandate that affects all indoor public settings and outdoor "Mega Events" of more than 5,000 people, and SoFi Stadium additionally has a mask policy. In fact, the stadium handed out KN-95 masks at Sunday's NFC Championship Game and plans to do so again at Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.
Newsom addressed the criticism during a press conference Monday, saying that he only removed the mask for the photograph.
"The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should," Newsom said regarding the mask.
In a statement from Garcetti's communications director, Erin Mellon, Garcetti said he, acknowledged that he took off his mask for a few moments during Sunday's game," and that he "continues to encourage all Californians to do their part" to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, many on Instagram criticized Johnson, Newsom and Garcetti for not wearing their masks.
"So none of the government officials wearing a mask like they ordered everyone else to," one Instagram user asked. "So glad my son has to wear a mask to school everyday but Gov Newsom doesn't," another added.
The full context wasn't immediately clear. Garcetti was seen in one of the photos holding a mask in his hands, but it wasn't clear if he or the others had taken their masks off for the pictures.
California Senator Melissa Melendez also voiced her frustrations on Twitter, saying maybe schoolchildren who are required to wear masks at school, "one day they'll be governor or the mayor of LA and they won't have to follow the rules they impose on others."
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