Raiders, Saints fined for face covering violations

Published September 23, 2020, 12:18 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

New Orleans Saints Las Vegas Raiders
Quarterback Nathan Peterman of the Las Vegas Raiders stretches in an end zone during warmups before an NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at Allegiant Stadium on September 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints have been fined $250,000 each for breaches of the NFL’s Covid-19 safety protocols regarding face coverings, reports said Tuesday.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and Saints counterpart Sean Payton were also fined $100,000 apiece for their failure to wear face coverings during Monday’s meeting between the two teams in Nevada, NFL Network reported.

The latest round of fines comes after the league hit the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos and their head coaches with identical fines on Monday for violations over the weekend.

The NFL began handing out penalties a week after giving all 32 clubs in the league a reminder to follow face covering guidelines.

Raiders coach Gruden apologised on Monday when asked about his failure to wear a mask during his team’s 34-24 win over the Saints.

Gruden revealed he had contracted Covid-19 during the off-season but had recovered. Saints coach Payton also contracted coronavirus earlier this year.

“I’m doing my best. You know, I’ve had the virus. OK. I’m doing my best,” Gruden said on Monday. “I’m very sensitive about it, but I’m calling plays.

“I just wanna communicate in these situations and I apologize and if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine, but I’m very sensitive about all of that and I apologize.”

Meanwhile Seattle coach Pete Carroll apologised on Tuesday for his breach of face-covering rules, admitting he had “screwed up”.

“I had a coach who was reminding me about it throughout the game,” Carroll said.

“I even changed masks at halftime to find one that worked better. Sometimes you have to admit that you screwed up and have got to do better.”