Chris Sprowls, the time has come to publicly admonish Anthony Sabatini

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 8.49.37 AM
Sabatini's latest tweet should be the last straw.

While all the nation, arguably the world, took notice when jurors handed down guilty verdicts on all three charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in relation to the murder of George Floyd, Anthony Sabatini did what he does best: He made a mockery of himself, the Florida Legislature, and the state with his ridiculous, tasteless, out of touch response.

“Mob justice,” Sabatini tweeted moments after the verdict.

It was justice, to be clear. But not the kind Sabatini suggests — that somehow the verdict was the result of left-wing bullying and an infiltration of wokeness.

Jurors did what they’re supposed to do. They watched the evidence with eyes wide open. They saw the nearly 10-minutes Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, snuffing the life out of him with each passing second Chauvin ignored pleas from onlookers to stop. They saw that Floyd was cooperating. They heard him plead, desperately, for his mother.

The listened to hours of testimony, some from Chauvin’s own brothers and sisters in blue, describing what he did as out of line … way out of line.

Sabatini has already been pilloried. Sen. Shevrin Jones, a South Florida Democrat, quickly responded to Sabatini’s tweet.

“White supremacist in 2021 wear suits and sit in the Florida legislature. Yep, I said it,” Jones tweeted.

In a write-up about the exchange in POLITICO, Sabatini reportedly told the outlet, “wokeism is a mental disorder and his (Jones’) disgusting comments demonstrate that.”

It’s not like this is a one-off. Sabatini has a history of tweeting inflammatory garbage.

Last November, after young Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and wounded others in the name of vigilante justice, Sabatini tweeted this gem.


And let us not forget, this is the same state Representative who landed himself in hot water right out of the gate when photos of him in black face surfaced.

It’s also the same state representative who, last May as protests demanding justice for George Floyd were raging throughout the nation, suggested shooting protesters.

“Attention potential ‘protesters’ coming near Lake County, FL. This is an AR-15 — this will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business — FYI!”

Democrats wanted him booted from the House after that, but they didn’t get it. And Sabatini’s fellow Republicans, even if they really don’t like the guy (they don’t) are still silent.

It’s time for Sprowls to end that silence.

We know Sprowls, and the rest of his leadership team, recognize the danger Sabatini presents. Look no further than his committee assignments. Dude was straight up snubbed.

He was put, literally, in the back of the House Chamber … baby in a corner style.

I can appreciate Sprowls and other legislative leadership not wanting to indulge Sabatini and his brand of scorched earth conservatism. After all, that was the strategy previous Speakers took with Mike Hill, the disgraced former lawmaker who once joked about killing gay people.

Sprowls’ strategy seems to be, just don’t give the guy any oxygen to suck up.

But now is not the time for an, ‘ignore it and it will go away’ approach. Now is the time for a firm hand.

Sprowls is in a unique position to do just that. Not only does he wield the gavel as the Florida House of Representative’s top leader, he’s also a former prosecutor. His word, especially on this issue, carries supreme weight. He owes it to his constituents and all Floridians to spread the word that there is no place for Sabatini’s hate in his chamber … or anywhere in GOP politics for that matter.

Sprowls insists that his support for House Bill 1, the controversial anti-protest bill now signed into law that is likely to face constitutional challenges, was not a direct response to the Black Lives Matter movements and protests, which reached a boiling point in the days, weeks and months following Floyd’s murder.

If that’s truly the case, now’s the time to show us.

Please, Speaker Sprowls, admonish Representative Blackface.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704