Last Updated on February 17, 2022
A member of the California Teachers Association (CTA) Board of Directors — which supports masking in schools — opted not to wear a mask at this year’s NFC Championship Game in Los Angeles. CTA Board of Directors member Jesse Aguilar posted a maskless photo of himself at the game, which required a mask. The CTA has received intense backlash over the photo, with much of the outrage fueled by timing, as the Los Angeles School District still requires its students to wear masks.
The LA Parent union, a group advocating for an end to California’s COVID restrictions in schools, criticized Aguilar on Twitter. “This California Teachers Association Board of Directors Member, Jesse Aguilar, isn’t interested in a ‘cautious’ approach for adults, only our kids. This is Jesse Aguilar. He went to NFC championship game with 70k strangers – he is #DoneWithCovid but his Union wants kids masked,” the group wrote in a tweet.
This California Teachers Association Board of Directors Member, Jesse Aguilar, isn’t interested in a “cautious” approach for adults, only our kids. This is Jesse Aguilar. He went to NFC championship game with 70k strangers – he is #DoneWithCovid but his Union wants kids masked. https://t.co/VOaoVhDeWL pic.twitter.com/mTUsYbwssq
— LA Parent Union #MomAnon (@UTLAUncensored) February 15, 2022
After backlash, Aguilar deflected and claimed he is always “glad” to wear a mask. “This person wants to know where my mask was. It was in my pocket. I took it off for the picture. There was nobody in front of me,” Aguilar said in a now-deleted Facebook post. “I’m glad to wear my mask in a pandemic. It’s not hard and it shows I care about the people around me. I was glad SoFi required proof of vaccination. Getting vaccinated is the sane thing to do in a pandemic. I’m glad sane people behave in a sane manner in an insane time. Where’s your mask?”
The controversy comes as the Los Angeles School District continues to cling to its mask mandate, even as California begins to ease restrictions. The city dropped its outdoor mask mandate for large gatherings on Wednesday, just hours before the Rams Super Bowl victory parade, while California lifted the state mask mandate in all situations last week. The City of Los Angeles refused to drop its indoor mask mandate, however.
Jesse Aguilar is not the only NFL game attendee to flaunt stadium mask mandates in recent weeks. Matt Damon, Lebron James, Ellen DeGeneres and dozens of other celebrities were seen maskless at the Super Bowl, which had both a mask and vaccine requirement. Even California Mayor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti paid no mind to the mandate.
Here’s the video of every celebrity without a mask during the Super Bowl. But every kid in California will have to be wearing them tomorrow in school. They must all be holding their breaths the entire game. pic.twitter.com/Dc9yVd7RPf
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 14, 2022