The NFL promised stiff penalties for teams who were found to violate COVID-19 protocols and while most teams are adhering to them, the Las Vegas Raiders haven’t exactly gotten the message and the NFL is hoping this latest round of penalties do that.
According to Yahoo Sports‘ Charles Robinson, the NFL has fined the Raiders $500,000, Gruden $150,000, and penalized them with the forfeiture of a sixth round draft pick for “repeat offenses” in violating COVID protocols.
Among the offenses the NFL discovered were that Gruden consistently hadn’t worn a mask as well as right tackle Trent Brown contracting COVID-19 and wasn’t wearing his tracking device that helps teams and medical professionals with contact tracing. As a result, five teammates had to be quarantined.
This isn’t the first time the Raiders have been fined for violating protocol. In Week 2, Gruden wasn’t properly wearing his mask and the NFL fined the Raiders $250,000 and Gruden $100,000. In addition to having 10 players, including QB Derek Carr, being fined a combined $165,000 for attending a charity event without wearing masks as well as the team letting an unauthorized person into the locker room, the Raiders organization has been fined a total of over $1.2 million so far.
The Raiders have a long history of being renegades and defying the NFL’s rules is surely embodying the spirit of Al Davis, but this is a bit different. Even if one doesn’t believe wearing masks or employing social distancing will do anything, the NFL sure seems to think so and masks being worn at team facilities and on the sidelines is seemingly as part of the dress code as wearing pants.