NFL Fines 5 Coaches, Teams For Not Wearing Face Masks
The NFL imposed strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols to push through with the 2020 season. The league currently reports less than 10 positive cases every testing session since the regular season started on September 10. However, despite the strict implementation of the NFL, some players and staff are still violating basic protocols.
A total of five NFL teams and coaches were fined and reprimanded this week for not wearing face coverings during live games. All games were played in stadiums with zero to a limited number of fans.
Coaches Pete Carroll of Seattle, Kyle Shanahan of San Francisco, and Vic Fangio of Denver were fined $100,000 for not wearing face masks on the sidelines. The coaches’ respective teams were also punished, with $250,000 fines.
Succeeding the first batch, two more NFL teams, the New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders, were also fined $250,000 each because their head coaches were not wearing face coverings during a live game on Monday. The head coaches were Sean Payton and Jon Gruden of the Raiders, both were fined $100,000.
The NFL issued the fines after the conclusion of the second week of games. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president for football operations, released a memo addressing the issue and warning all players and staff to follow state and local government protocols.
“We must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments…The NFL-NFLPA Game Day Protocol, which reflects the advice of infectious disease experts, club medical staffs and local and state governmental regulations, requires all individuals with bench area access (including coaches and members of the club medical staff) to wear face coverings at all times,” Vincent said.
Gruden of the Raiders accepted the punishment, while other coaches and teams have yet to comment on the issue. In a postgame interview on Monday, Gruden said:
“I’m doing my best. I’ve had the virus. OK? I’m doing my best. I’m very sensitive about it…But I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate these situations. I apologize. And if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine. I’m very sensitive about all of that, and I apologize.”