Last weekend, a video from Kacy Catanzaro’s Instagram Story made the rounds on social media. It showed the NXT Superstar with a group of people at an indoor restaurant ahead of the Super Bowl in Tampa, none of whom were wearing masks.
It’s not the first time the American Ninja Warrior legend’s been taken to task for sharing her maskless party pics. That this latest video came shortly after WWE released Steve Cutler - allegedly for contracting COVID in a similar social situation - amplified the reaction to Catanzaro’s night on the town.
She is again addressing the criticism, this time in another video she posted to Twitter.
“What’s up Twitter? I just wanted to get on here and be able to talk to everyone for a minute. I know that people are concerned that I was at a restaurant over the weekend. I want everyone to know that I hear you, and I appreciate the concern.
“Here where I live in Florida restaurants are open to a certain capacity. We wear a mask when you go in, when we leave - really any time that we aren’t sitting down at our table we have to have a mask. But when we are sitting down to eat or drink we are allowed to take our masks off, and I know that that’s the part that people saw, that people were upset with.
“I’m sorry for anybody that is upset. I understand your concern and I want you to know that I do care about the safety of others around me, and myself, and I follow all of the protocol. Luckily for me with work, we get tested at least once a week, if not twice sometimes, and I carry my hand sanitizer and my clear here (?) with me everywhere. Everywhere that we have to, I wear my mask.
“I’m sorry that this moment made people think otherwise, but I just want you all to know that I hear you, I appreciate the concern, I am looking out for the safety of others around me as well as trying to take care of myself the best I can, and I wish the best for everybody else.”
It’s okay as public statements go. A little too much “sorry if you were upset” and a little too little just “I’m sorry”, but Kacy pretty clearly believes that doing whatever Florida’s guidelines allow is the socially responsible thing to do. She’s not alone in that. Many obviously disagree with her. No amount of arguing on the internet is likely to change any of it.
A good middle ground would be posting some pics and videos of her and her friends masked in addition to the ones where they’re doing what Florida’s laxer-than-most regulations let them. It’s an issue Catanzaro skirts in her statement, but she’s a public figure. Her successful career across two different television franchises has made her a role model. Leading by example even when you don’t have to is part of the gig.
Her first Instagram post since last weekend’s controversy shows her and tag partner Kayden Carter in masks, so hopefully we’ll get more of those mixed in with the indoor dining videos.
Stay safe, everybody.