New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden have been fined $100,000 each for not wearing masks during Monday Night Football, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Additionally, the Saints and Raiders have been fined $250,000 for the incident. This comes on the heels of the NFL laying down fines to Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio and San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan for similar violations on Sunday. The rule of coaches having to wear facemask is part of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols.
What makes Gurden's case interesting is he recently revealed he contracted the coronavirus. "But it's a very serious matter and, you know, obviously, I'm sensitive about it. But yeah, it was a tough ordeal, that's for sure," Gruden said. "Just like everybody else that had it." Payton also dealt with COVID-19 before the season. In fact, he was the first known player or coach to test positive.
"Basically a weekend ago ... is when I first began to feel some flu-like symptoms, where you get kind of the chills," Payton said back in March. "Then Monday morning, they were certainly a little bit more significant. I had a low-grade fever, but the chills were back. That's when I had my test, on Monday." Payton also said the journey was "quite a process. You spend a lot of time trying to learn as much as you can about it. We're certainly seeing it on the news 24/7."
When Carroll was asked about wearing masks this week, he said he needed to do a better job. "I had a coach who was reminding me about it throughout the game, [running backs coach] Chad Morton was on my ass the whole night. He was reminding me the whole time," Carroll said on the Seahawks website. "I even changed masks at halftime to find one that worked better."
After the first week of the 2020 season, the NFL sent a memo to all teams to remind the head coaches to wear masks at all times during a game. "We must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs but also by state and local governments," NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in the memo. "The NFL-NFLPA gameday protocol, which reflects the advice of infectious disease experts, club medical staff and local and state governmental regulations, requires all individuals with bench area access [including coaches and members of the club medical staff] to wear face coverings at all times."