Penalty For (Non) Face-masking! NFL Socially Distances Half A Million Dollars From The Raiders Bank Account!

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden celebrates after defeating the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Just win, baby? And in the process, maybe observe some of those coronavirus protocols?

The NFL has punished the Las Vegas Raiders and coach Jon Gruden for multiple missteps during the global pandemic, taking fines totaling $650,000 as well as a sixth-round draft pick.

In an Associated Press story, a person familiar with the punishment said the team was fined $500,000 and Gruden $150,000. The draft pick was eliminated because of activity surrounding the handling of Trent Brown’s positive coronavirus test last month.

Brown tested positive during an Oct. 19 practice. Violating protocol, he was not wearing a mask and failed to socially distance. Four other starting offensive linemen were then placed on the COVID-19 list as “high-risk” contacts.

The overall punishment, it could be argued, included the Raiders’ self-inflicted wounds from that incident, since those starters missed the rest of the practice week. They were able to play the Oct. 25 game against Tampa Bay but they–and the team–couldn’t keep up during a 45-20 loss.

Safety Johnathan Abram hung out with Brown a day after that Oct. 19 practice, so, not being able to return until Oct. 26, he missed the Tampa game.

This wasn’t the team’s first COVID-19-era punishment.

From Stephen Douglas at The Big Lead: “In October the team was fined $250,000 and Gruden was fined $100,000. If the team didn’t take it seriously then it’s because it’s just money and they’ve got a lot of it. This time they might learn their lesson because money can’t buy draft picks. … This is a pretty stiff price to pay for not taking COVID seriously, but it’s not surprising the NFL is jumping on this opportunity to make an example out of the Raiders.”

Gruden contracted the coronavirus in July but returned before the start of the season.

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