San Francisco Mayor London Breed says she was ‘feeling the spirit’ during rare Tony! Toni! Toné! performance to defend violating her own indoor mask mandate

Mayor London Breed speaks at a rally in San Francisco in this March 13, 2021 file photo. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Mayor London Breed speaks at a rally in San Francisco on March 13, 2021. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File
  • SF Mayor London Breed was caught on video dancing maskless during a live performance last week.
  • Breed exalted in the performance by R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!, a product of the Bay Area.
  • The mayor brushed off criticism that she was violating the city’s indoor mask mandate.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday defended herself after she was seen dancing maskless indoors during a live performance from the iconic R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!, saying that she was “feeling the spirit” of the show.

“The fact is there was something really monumental that occurred and that is the original members…who have not performed in public for I believe over 20 years,” she told reporters. “They are some of most incredible artists of the history of this country and the Bay Area in particular, and the fact that is getting lost here is very unfortunate.”

Breed on Thursday was spotted inside the city’s Black Cat Nightclub sans mask, despite issuing a mandate last month that all individuals – whether they are vaccinated against the coronavirus or not – have to wear a face covering if they are not actively eating or drinking.

The city’s mask order states that: “People are urged to be seated at a table or positioned at a stationary counter or place while eating or drinking.”

However, the video shows Breed standing and dancing at the club, while also taking photos without a mask.

While speaking with reporters, the mayor said that people in the club were required to show a proof of vaccination.

“When you enter these venues, people are going to drink, people have to be vaccinated … like sip and drink, that’s just not realistic,” she said. “When you got to restaurants … I was at a restaurant, same thing, I’m leaving my mask down while I’m enjoying my food. People are not doing that. So that’s just not realistic, you all know it’s not realistic.”

She added: “We don’t need the fun police to come in and try to micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. We know what we need to do to protect ourselves.”

Breed emphasized the significance of Tony! Toni! Toné!, whose members broke up shortly after their final album, “House of Music,” was released in 1996 – in rationalizing her decision.

“I’m being careful to not only protect myself and other people, but this is nitpicking, this is really unfortunate,” she said. “And let me tell you, when the spirit moves you because you are watching history in the making, Bay Area royalty perform, I don’t know about you but I’m not going to turn around and look for where my mask is or look to see if I’m picking up a drink. I’m just going to let the spirit move me.”

Breed, who was previously a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before becoming the leader of the city in late 2017, then used the incident to promote local businesses.

“The message I want to get out is: Support our nightlife venues, support our restaurants, go out and enjoy yourself,” she said.

California has been hit hard by the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, but the number of new COVID-19 cases in San Francisco have fallen by 43% over the past 14 days.