Tampa mayor Jane Castor said in a joint news briefing with St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman on Monday that a city employee spotted a man working out in a park in downtown Tampa.
“Our parks are closed down, so a lot of our parks staff, they patrol around just to make sure people aren’t in there with contact sports and things,” Castor said. “She went over to tell him that it was closed, and it was Tom Brady.”
Kriseman responded, “Oh my goodness!” Castor replied, “Well, there you go! He has been sighted!”
Florida is currently under stay-at-home orders, though recreational activity outdoors is permitted as long as social distancing is followed. Jacksonville recently opened its beaches for recreational activity, but the Tampa Bay area’s beaches remain closed.
The City of Tampa tweeted, “Sorry @TomBrady! Our @tampaparksrec team can’t wait to welcome you and our entire community back with even bigger smiles — until then, stay safe and stay home as much as you can to help flatten the curve.”
Sorry @TomBrady! Our @tampaparksrec team can’t wait to welcome you and our entire community back with even bigger smiles — until then, stay safe and stay home as much as you can to help flatten the curve. https://t.co/qRhReqqdK0
— City of Tampa (@CityofTampa) April 21, 2020
ESPN reached out to the mayor’s office and City of Tampa, but messages were not immediately returned.
The NFL offseason program would have begun this week, had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, teams will be holding virtual offseason programs, with the expectation that players work out on their own while following CDC guidelines.
This is not the first time Brady has received a shout-out during a coronavirus news briefing. Florida governor Ron DeSantis mentioned Brady last week when talking about a possible return for professional sports.
“I mean, people are watching, we’re watching, like, reruns from the early 2000s, watching Tom Brady do the Super Bowl then, which is neat because he’s gonna be in Tampa, and I think they have a chance to win a Super Bowl this year,” DeSantis said. “But I think people, to be able to have some light at the tunnel, see that things may get back on a better course, I think from just a psychological perspective, I think, is a good thing.”
DeSantis also mentioned Brady last month.
“When you think about how much the whole world has changed with all this — Tom Brady is coming to Tampa,” DeSantis said. “That’s, like, the biggest news. I’m really pleased. I’ve been a Bucs fan my whole life. I think they have a chance to compete for the Super Bowl. That seems like such a distant thing to grab on to right now because we’re in this day-to-day fight.”
President Donald Trump has also mentioned Brady in his coronavirus briefings.