Las Vegas Raiders Fined, Stripped of Draft Pick Due to COVID Violations

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The National Football League is slapping major fines and the loss of a sixth-round draft choice on the Las Vegas Raiders for repeated violations of the league’s COVID-19 rules, according to multiple media reports.

The league is fining the Raiders $500,000 and its head coach, Jon Gruden, $150,000 for the latest violations, reports say. For the year, the team and its players have been docked more than $1 million.

The latest action was first reported Thursday by Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports on Twitter. Robinson said the newest punishment surrounds tackle Trent Brown’s positive coronavirus test two weeks ago.

That development led to fellow members of the offensive line being placed in self-quarantine. Brown also was found to have not worn the tracking device he is supposed to don for purposes of contact tracing.

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The Raiders are the first team penalized with the loss of a draft pick for breaking the league’s COVID-19 protocols, NFL.com reported. Las Vegas originally had two sixth-round selections, one of which was acquired from Washington. The Raiders will lose whichever pick is higher.

In its coverage of the fines, ESPN said a source it did not identify told the news outlet the league acted due to the team’s “brazen and repeated violations of [COVID-19] protocols.”

The Raiders and Gruden were fined $250,000 and $100,000, respectively, for the coach going maskless Sept. 21 during the team’s home opener against New Orleans.

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A $50,000 fine followed when the league said a non-credentialed employee was given access to the locker room after that game.

Ten Raiders also were fined for appearing at a charity event last month without masks and also mixing with the crowd.

Tight end Darren Waller led the way with a $30,000 fine, while nine other players, include quarterback Derek Carr, were fined $15,000 each.

The latest fines have sent Twitter buzzing.

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The Raiders are not the only team being fined for COVID violations.

The Pittsburgh Steelers face $350,000 in fines, according to Reuters. The team will have to fork over $250,000, and head coach Mike Tomlin must pay $100,000 because some of the team’s coaches were not wearing masks on the sideline Sunday against Baltimore.

The Tennessee Titans were fined $350,000 last month for COVID-19 “protocol violations,” according to Yahoo Sports.

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