Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White returned to Cotton Valley, Louisiana, on July 11 for a charity trail ride. White's representatives said that they would promote hand-washing, social distancing and mask-wearing, but the crowd did not heed the recommendations. Thousands of people joined him for the event without masks while ignoring social distancing.
TMZ Sports posted video footage of the afterparty, showing thousands dancing to music. Very few wore masks while remaining in close proximity to each other. The camera also showed White moving through the crowd and dancing. Like those in attendance, he did not wear a mask. Other photos showed masses of people riding horses without masks.
HUNDREDS MAYBE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE JOINED TOGETHER FOR A DAY OF FUN, HORSE RIDING AND DANCING. IT WAS A SUCCESS AFTER NFL PLAYER DEVIN WHITE,HOSTED HIS 2ND ANNUAL TRAIL RIDE IN COTTON VALLEY, LOUISIANA SATURDAY. THIS TRAIL RIDE GAVE CITIZENS SOMETHING TO DO DURING COVID-19 CRISIS pic.twitter.com/0NArRv96e4— Reporter Timmy Lane (@ReporterTimmy) July 13, 2020
Leading into the charity trail ride, local authorities and Lousiana State Police both confirmed that troopers and deputies would assist with traffic on highways and roads around the event. However, Mayor C.C. Cox did not expect that the authorities would enforce the social distancing guidelines. However, a spokesperson did tell TMZ Sports that the authorities would "assist with whatever needs arise" during the event.
Cox also told TMZ Sports that he didn't try to prevent the second-annual trail ride from the taking place. "He was raised here," the mayor said of White. "He wants to come into town, and he wants to throw a big party."
Now that the event is over, White will prepare for the upcoming 2020 NFL season and training camps. Meanwhile, fans will express concern about potential positive coronavirus cases on the team following the event in Louisiana. He will have to return to Florida in the coming days, especially with the league unveiling the dates for the start of training camp.
Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, sent a memo to all 32 teams detailing training camp reporting dates. Rookies will report to their respective teams on Tuesday while quarterbacks and injured players report on Wednesday. White will join the rest of the veteran players on the Buccaneers as they report for training camp on July 28. Although he could ultimately opt-out of participating due to coronavirus concerns or a positive test.