NFL fines Raiders, takes draft picks over coronavirus violations


The Las Vegas Raiders have reportedly been fined $500,000 and denied their sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft over several violations of coronavirus safety guidelines.

According to one source who spoke to ESPN, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has also been fined $150,000 for “brazen and repeated violations of [COVID-19] protocols."

The punishments were first reported by Yahoo Sports Thursday. 

The team had already been punished with a $250,000 fine and Gruden with one for $100,000 after he was accused of not properly wearing a mask during an earlier game. According to ESPN, the team was fined an additional $50,000 for giving a noncredentialed employee access to the locker room following that game.

ESPN reported that tight end Darren Waller had been fined $30,000 and nine teammates, including quarterback Derek Carr, were faced with $15,000 charges each for attending an Oct. 5 Waller Foundation charity event, where they were seen not wearing masks while socializing with crowds. 

The Raiders now face a total of $1.185 million in fines as a result and is the first team in the NFL to lose a draft pick as punishment for COVID-19 violations. 

This comes two weeks after right tackle Trent Brown tested positive for COVID-19, prompting four other members of the Las Vegas team’s offensive line to self-quarantine after being identified as close-contacts. 

This week, the NFL released revised COVID-19 safety guidelines, including recommending players and other team staff to wear masks on the sidelines throughout games. 

Late last month, the NFL fined the Tennessee Titans $350,000 for team members not wearing masks at all times, as well as incidents of players meeting or exercising in team facilities after hours.

The league said at the time that they believe these actions caused a COVID-19 outbreak that affected 13 Titans players and 11 members of the support staff, making it the NFL's first major outbreak of COVID-19 since the season resumed this year.

Other NFL teams and coaches have also received fines for not wearing masks at games. In September, the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers were fined with $250,000 each, as well as $100,000 for each of the teams’ head coaches.

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