Tom Brady‘s spell in Florida has begun on an unexpected note, with the six-time Super Bowl champion asked to leave a park in a Tampa that had been shut as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
According to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Brady was spotted working out in the park by a city employee.
“I always tell people, ‘Now I’m not one to gossip so you didn’t hear this from me’,” she told St. Petersburg, Florida, Mayor Rick Kriseman during a video briefing on Monday.
“But you know our parks are closed down and so a lot of our parks staff, they patrol around just to make sure people aren’t doing contact sports and things and saw an individual working out in one of our downtown parks. And she went over to tell him that it was closed and it was Tom Brady.”
The City of Tampa, meanwhile, suggested the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback will be more than welcome in the city’s parks, but not while stay-at-home measures remain in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” the city’s official Twitter account said.
While shelter-in-place orders remain effective in Florida, recreational activity outdoors is allowed as long as social distancing measures are observed. Over the weekend, Jacksonville re-opened its beaches, but Tampa Bay’s remain closed.
As of Tuesday morning, Florida has reported over 27,000 cases of COVID-19 and 837 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the outbreak using combined data sources.
Nearly 788,000 cases have been reported in the U.S., by far the highest toll in the world, with the death toll standing at 42,364 and almost 72,900 recoveries.
Over 170,300 people have died globally since the outbreak of coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, a city located in China’s central Hubei province, late last year. There have been nearly 2.5 million confirmed cases globally and almost 672,000 recoveries.
Brady signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers last month, ending a 20-year spell with the New England Patriots, which returned nine Super Bowl appearances, six Vince Lombardi trophies and a slew of individual records.
However, his first offseason as a Buccaneer has been complicated by the coronavirus outbreak, which has scuppered preparation for the 2020 season as the 32 franchises have been forced to close their facilities.
Players have been told to work out remotely until a semblance of normality returns and last week Brady admitted he could not prepare as he would like as offseason programs have been delayed indefinitely.
The NFL, however, remains confident the season will get underway as scheduled on September 10.
Last week, bookmakers released their opening expected win totals for the upcoming season with the Bucs fluctuating between 9 and 9.5, depending on the sportsbook. The Bucs went 7-9 last year and have recorded just two winning seasons since they last made the playoffs in 2007.
Newsweek has contacted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the City of Tampa for comment.