In a season full of times the NFL has come down hard on teams violating its COVID-19 safety protocols, the league dropped its biggest hammer so far this year on the Las Vegas Raiders.
The NFL has fined the Raiders $500,000 and head coach Jon Gruden $150,000 for “repeat offenses” against the protocols, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson. Las Vegas will also lose a 2021 sixth-round pick.
You won’t be surprised to hear that Raiders owner Mark Davis is not a fan of that news and plans to appeal the penalties.
“The fines are draconian,” Davis told ESPN on Friday. “But we will appeal them. Outside the organization, people have the wrong impression about the Raiders. We take it seriously. It’s unfortunate that certain things outside the protocol are the things being focused on, rather than the positive steps we've taken as an organization. You’ve been in the building. You’ve seen it.”
Thursday’s fines bring the Raiders’ total this year to $800,000, $1.05 million if you add Gruden’s total and $1.21 million if you add player fines. The violations stem from offensive lineman Trent Brown landing on the reserve/COVID list in late October, a non-credentialed employee being allowed into the team’s locker room after a game in Week 2 and a fine for Gruden failing to wear a mask properly during that same game. Ten more players were fined $165,000 total for failing to adhere to COVID-19 protocols at a charity event in late September.
If the Raiders’ offenses continue, they can expect that total to climb even quicker.
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