HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis fined his team $500,000 in the sixth round of the 2021 draft and robbed it of his choice, and coach John Gruden received an additional $150,000 for what a source described as bold and repeated violations of protocol [COVID-19].
The fines are draconian, Davis told ESPN Friday. But we’re going to contact them. Outside the organization, people have a false impression of the Raiders. We’re taking this seriously. Unfortunately, some things are unofficial things we focus on and not positive steps we have taken as an organisation. They were in the building. You’ve seen it.
Davis referred to the daily KOVID 19 tests, temperature controls, trackers and masks needed to enter the command object.
John and these guys work their asses off every day. But at the same time, the [NFL] believes that we have not fulfilled some of those mandates.
Las Vegas has already withheld $250,000 and Gruden $100,000 for not wearing the mask properly during the second week of the home team’s opening match. The team was also fined $50,000 for allowing an inactive employee access to the dressing room of the Allegiant Stadium after the game.
In addition, Darren Waller was fined $30,000 and nine teammates, including quarterback Derek Carr, were fined $15,000 each for not showing up in the fifth minute of the game. In October, they attended a private, masked charity event organized by the Waller Foundation and communicated to the public.
Las Vegas imposed fines totaling $1,185 million for violations of COVID-19 protocols, and the Raiders were the first team to lose the design for the violations.
Gruden, who had previously claimed to have had the virus this summer, was unwilling to discuss the sanctions in detail when it appeared in the media on Friday.
I just want to say that [I] am very proud of our organization, the way we have managed the whole protocol and the whole process, and I won’t make any more comments, he said. As I said last week, I think we’re in the front line to take care of the players, and I’ll do that later.
When asked if he felt the Raiders were being picked, Gruden didn’t bite.
I’m very proud of the guys I work with here, he said. We did a damn good job. It’s a very difficult process, very difficult, and I support what we’re doing here. I think we’re doing a damn good job. We can always improve, and that’s obvious.
Two weeks ago, Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Brown tested positive for COVID-19, but because he wasn’t wearing his marker at the command post and several players were not wearing masks after rookie Damon Arnett’s corner entry into the substitution/COVID-19, Four other participants in the starting line of the Las Vegas attack – on the left tackling Kolton Miller, left defender Denzelle Good, middle back Rodney Hudson and right defender Gabe Jackson – were considered close contacts at risk, and they were all forced to go through a self-quarantine within a week.
As a result, the scheduled match of the Raiders against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week has been very carefully moved from prime time to kick-off in the afternoon, with four of them only allowed to play in the morning.
Brown, who was taken off the roster last week and scheduled to start in Cleveland, suffered a setback for game four, leading to a stay in a local hospital. He returned to Rayders on Wednesday, but because he is still struggling with complications of the virus, he returned to the COVID list on Thursday.
The NFL and NFLPA released updated COVID-19 protocols Tuesday after positive tests on the day of the game led to several high-risk close contacts. The League now recommends that players and staff wear masks on the sidelines during matches.
Sources reported that looters were repeatedly warned of certain violations, but those violations continued. This may lead to heavier sanctions in case of subsequent infringements.
We really take the virus seriously, Davis said. We take protocol very seriously. We’re not deliberately violating protocol. And everyone in our building will confirm it.
This report made use of information provided by Dan Graziano of ESPN.