Las Vegas Raiders fined, stripped of sixth-round draft pick over COVID-19 violations

The football team was penalized for repeated abuses of coronavirus protocols

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When it comes to COVID-19, the NFL takes compliance very seriously, and as a result, the Las Vegas Raiders have been fined a half-million dollars for not doing what they were supposed to.

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According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, the league fined the Raiders $500K, fined head coach Jon Gruden $150K, and then removed a sixth-round pick for protocol violations after tackle Trent Brown‘s positive test last month.

Back in September, the NFL fined a handful of coaches for not wearing masks while standing on the sidelines during games, and to many, that felt like a warning shot of the strict crackdowns that were to come.

On Sunday, Sept. 20, Gruden and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton were both shown without masks on multiple times during ESPN’s broadcast from Las Vegas and by Tuesday, they were contacted by league officials.

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints argues a call with a referee in the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 25, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media later reported that the two teams were fined $250K each and the two coaches were personally fined an additional $100K for violating the rules put in place to keep COVID from derailing the NFL season. The 49ers, Seahawks, and Broncos were also fined after Kyle Shanahan, Pete Carroll, and Vic Fangio were found to be in violation, as per The Hill.

The Raiders had already been fined over $400K for previous incidents, including several players who were fined $15K apiece for attending a teammate’s charity event without masks.

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – AUGUST 15: Offensive tackle Trent Brown #77 of the Oakland Raiders watches from the sidelines during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

While there is a general consensus that safety should be a priority during the pandemic, some have argued that the mandate for face coverings on the sideline is excessive and maybe even unnecessary given the daily testing of players and coaches around the league.

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But insiders say the NFL has no intention of loosening up on their coronavirus mandates so the punishments may escalate in the event of additional violations from the Raiders or any other teams.

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