The Las Vegas Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden have been hit with large fines due to COVID-19 violations. According to ESPN, the NFL fined the Raiders $500,000 and Gruden $150,000 for "brazen and repeated violations of [COVID-19] protocols." Additionally, the Raiders have been stripped of a sixth-round pick in next year's draft.
This news comes after the Raiders were fined $250,000 and Gruden $100,000 for not wearing a mask properly during the team's Week 2 contest. The Raiders were hit with another $50,000 for allowing a non-credentialed employee in the locker room when the game was over. This also comes after Raiders tight end Darren Waller was fined $30,000 for his charity event, which included people not wearing masks. Nine other players, including Derek Carr, attended the event and were fined $15,000. Overall, the Raiders have been fined $1.185 million for violating COVID-19 protocols. They are also the first team in the league to lose a draft pick due to the coronavirus violations.
In September, Gruden revealed he previously contracted COVID-19. "I'm doing my best," Gruden said to reporters. "I've had the virus. I'm doing my best. I'm very sensitive about it ... I'm calling plays. I just wanna communicate in these situations and if I get fined I'll have to pay the fine but I'm very sensitive about that and I apologize." Gruden didn't share any additional details about his diagnosis but explained why he came forward.
"I don't want to get into it, really. It wasn't pleasant," Gruden stated. "And it was reported that I made up that I had the virus and it really ticked me off because I would never do something like that. 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. Just like everybody else that's had it."
The Raiders have had their share of COVID-19 issues recently. Last month, the team sent home their starting five offensive lineman due to COVID-19 tracing. Offensive lineman Trent Brown tested positive for the virus, but with him not wearing his tracer at the team facility and several other players not wearing masks, left tackle Kolton Miller, left guard Denzelle Good, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson, were considered high-risk close contacts and had to quarantine for a week.