The NFL Dropped the Hammer on Three Coaches for Lackadaisical Mask Wearing

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get it back to football.

The NFL isn’t messing around with COVID-19 restrictions. According to reports, the league handed down three $100,000 fines to coaches who were not consistently wearing masks on the sidelines this past weekend.

From ESPN:

The NFL fined three head coaches — Denver‘s Vic Fangio, Seattle‘s Pete Carroll and San Francisco‘s Kyle Shanahan — $100,000 each for not wearing masks Sunday, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

In addition, the league fined each coach’s team $250,000, sources said.

The $1,050,000 in punishments comes a week after the league sent a memo to teams reinforcing its requirement that coaches wear coverings over their mouths and noses at all times on the sidelines during games, threatening discipline for those who don’t comply.

More fines could be coming, as several other coaches violated the league’s rules, among them New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and both coaches in Monday night’s game, Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders and Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.

There’s a been a variety of approaches to face covering. Doug Pederson is wearing a standard mask. Sean Payton went with the bandit/Antifa look. Andy Reid resembled a welder with his fogged up face shield, welding his way to another Super Bowl ring, most likely.

That said, isn’t this a bit over the top? These coaches and players are tested frequently, to the point where they would not even be on the field if there was a confirmed case or even a false positive. It’s not like they’re some random suburban schlubs like us, rolling up to the Warminster Community Park at the old military base. They’re subject to some of the most stringent health and safety protocols out there.

Of course, we talk about “optics” frequently on this website, so we’re all aware of the importance of sending a message that resonates with people at home. If coaches make an effort to keep the masks on while calling plays and communicating via headset, it suggests that they’re taking COVID seriously, even if they don’t really give a shit. $100,000 just seems like a lot of money to fine somebody, since we don’t even fine players that much money for throwing blindside blocks or hitting defenseless players or PED use.

It would appear as though the NFL is not messing around with this.

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