The NFL has imposed steep fines on three different teams after various members of each team refused to wear face masks during several games, resulting in a combined total of over $1 million in fines, as reported by CNN.
Three teams were each fined a collective total of $250,000: the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos, and the San Francisco 49ers. In addition, each of the team’s head coaches – Pete Carroll, Vic Fangio, and Kyle Shanahan, respectively – were fined $100,000, for an overall total of $1,050,000 in fines.
The NFL’s vice president of executive operations, Troy Vincent, had previously sent out a letter to every NFL team demanding that all members wear masks at all times, even when they are on the field or even if they are maintaining “social distancing” rules. The letter threatened “sanctions” against any teams that did not cooperate.
“We must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place,” the letter read. “Regulations require all individuals with bench area access (including coaches and members of the club medical staff) to wear face coverings at all times.”
But several coaches and other NFL figureheads have resisted the restrictions. Coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders refused to wear a mask during the first NFL Sunday of the season; Gruden had previously tested positive for the coronavirus, but has since recovered.
“I’m doing my best. I’ve had the virus, OK?” Gruden said in a post-game interview. “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.”