Rays' Smith: Players 'called names' by Florida residents for wearing masks
Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Kevan Smith can't help but notice how people in Florida are dealing with masks during the coronavirus pandemic - and it's a stark contrast to what he's experienced in his home state.

"Pennsylvania feels like it's a lot different up there than down here," Smith said Saturday, according to Josh Tolentino of The Athletic. "Obviously, the numbers are a lot worse here. But I felt like you couldn't even walk outside without a mask on (at home). And then here (in Florida), you go out with a mask and we have guys getting called names and all of the above. So just a totally different feel around the country.

"(One Rays teammate) was in a store shopping for food and was called a pansy. It's like, 'little do they know.' I went out briefly to just pick up some takeout food and I swear I got like a dozen eyeballs on me looking at me like I'm the weird (one) walking in with a mask."

Smith admitted the behavior he's seen is perplexing.

"It's just very immature or whatever you want to call it," the 32-year-old said. "But it's just comical. I mean it. It's going on all over the world. We're seeing it firsthand here, so we've just got to stick within our realm and just do what we've got to do to stay responsible and everything should be fine."

Florida confirmed over 11,400 cases of COIVD-19 on Friday - the second-highest single-day jump for the state, according to Tony Pipitone and Brian Hamacher of NBC Miami. Florida has recorded more than 244,000 total cases thus far.

Rays' Smith: Players 'called names' by Florida residents for wearing masks
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