Las Vegas Raiders Fined, Lose Draft Pick After Violating COVID Protocols

by Chris Haney

On Thursday, the NFL came down hard on the Las Vegas Raiders when they fined the organization and stripped them of a future draft pick for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

According to multiple reports, the NFL fined the Raiders franchise $500,000 and are taking away the team’s 6th round draft pick in 2021. Additionally, head coach Jon Gruden received a $150,000 fine.

ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter announced the punishments on Twitter. He also shared some of the team’s violations. They include Gruden not consistently wearing a mask and the team allowing an unauthorized person into its locker room.

“NFL fined the Raiders $500,000 more, Jon Gruden another $150,000 and also took a 2021 sixth-round pick from Las Vegas for repeated COVID protocol violations, as @CharlesRobinson and @ByKimberleyA are reporting,” Schefter reported.

Raiders Have Been Fined Before For COVID-19 Violations

In addition, Las Vegas received fines for players attending a large indoor gathering. Cameras captured photos and videos of multiple players at tight end Darren Waller’s fundraiser event in September not properly wearing masks.

In October, Raiders players that attended Waller’s fundraiser received fines for their mask violations. The league fined Waller $30,000 along with nine other teammates, including quarterback Derek Carr. The other nine each received $15,000 fines for appearing at the Oct. 5 event maskless and mingling with the crowd.

This is the third time the Raiders have faced punishment for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. Earlier this season, the NFL fined the team $250,000 and Gruden $100,000. During the team’s home opener in Week 2, Gruden was caught not wearing a mask properly.

In total, the Raiders organization and players have been fined $1.185 million for breaking COVID-19 protocols. Although other teams and players have also received fines, the Raiders are the first to lose a draft pick because of the violations.

Las Vegas has received multiple warnings from the NFL about specific violations since Week 2 of the season. Yet, the violations have continued in spite of the warnings. The NFL has threatened more severe penalties if the team doesn’t follow league protocols going forward.