On Wednesday, ESPN’s Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Kansas City Chiefs have asked the NFL to launch an inquiry into a recent meeting with an NFL Players’ Association representative. Allegedly the union member did not wear a face mask when speaking with Chiefs players.
Schefter reported that the NFLPA union rep conducted in-person meetings with all Kansas City players in late October. Allegedly, during all of their meetings, the NFLPA rep chose not to wear a face covering. The unnamed rep remained unmasked while in close contact during meetings and while mingling with players.
The NFL currently has extremely strict COVID-19 protocols as a precaution for the entire league. Kansas City is worried the union rep violated NFL-NFLPA protocols. However, the NFLPA rep is not held to the same standards when it comes to COVID-19 testing. Therefore, the Chiefs organization thinks the NFLPA visit brought an unnecessary risk of exposure to the team and their staff.
“1/2 Chiefs have asked the NFL to launch an inquiry with the NFLPA after a union rep conducted an in-person meeting with all KC players late last month and rep allegedly was unmasked while meeting and mingling with the players in close proximity, per source,” Schefter tweeted in a two-part message. “2/2 Concern is this is a violation of NFL-NFLPA protocols and the rep is not subject to same testing as players and personnel and regularly travels among clubs, per source. NFL and team believes this created unnecessary risk of exposure to players and staff.”
NFL Coming Down Hard on COVID-19 Protocol Violations
The NFL is not playing around this season when it comes to taking the league’s COVID-19 protocols seriously. Recently, multiple teams and their players have been fined for breaking protocols.
Most of the fines have stemmed from coaches and players either not wearing face masks, or not wearing them properly. In addition, some players have been caught at off the field events not wearing masks.
The Chiefs are one of many teams that have dealt with COVID-19 issues. Kansas City is one of a handful of teams that have had their games rescheduled to a later date because of positive test results. The NFL moved their Week 4 matchup against the New England Patriots due to quarterback Cam Newton testing positive.
In addition, the Chiefs have had some of their own players test positive, as well. That led to star quarterback Patrick Mahomes taking extra precautions at home just to be safe. His fiancée, Brittany Matthews, is pregnant with the couple’s first child. So Mahomes kept his distance from his longtime partner even in their own home.
The Chiefs are likely exercising an abundance of caution with their requested inquiry into the unmasked NFLPA rep. That may not be a bad idea considering some of the recent punishments the NFL has handed out.
For example, the NFL fined the Las Vegas Raiders $500,000 this past Thursday for multiple protocol violations. The league is also taking away the team’s 6th round draft pick in 2021. Furthermore, head coach Jon Gruden received a $150,000 fine. In total, the Raiders organization and players have been fined $1.185 million for breaking COVID-19 protocols.