NFL fines Raiders players for COVID-19 violations at charity event

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Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller leaves the field after an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Darren Waller and several Las Vegas Raiders teammates have been fined for attending his charity event that violated COVID-19 protocols.

A person familiar with the punishment said Monday that Waller was fined $30,000 and his teammates were docked $15,000 each for their actions at last week’s fundraiser for his foundation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments weren’t announced by the league.

NFL Network first reported the fines.

Among the players seen in attendance were quarterbacks Derek Carr and Nathan Peterman, tight ends Jason Witten, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier, receivers Zay Jones and Hunter Renfrow, cornerback Nevin Lawson, offensive lineman Erik Magnuson, and Waller.

“I’m well aware of that, yes,” coach Jon Gruden said Monday. “I know our players are going to handle them individually. I know they regret any harm they may have caused. They’re very sensitive about it and we’ll handle it the right way. I’m going to reiterate, I’m really proud of our players and our staff and the job that we’ve done battling this virus, and it’ll continue.”

Players were seen without their masks mingling with guests, who also didn’t have face coverings. The city of Henderson fined the DragonRidge Country Club $2,000 for four violations of the Nevada governor’s COVID-19 emergency directives, including people not wearing masks and more than 50 people at the event.

“We tried our best even at the event with everything, and we weren’t perfect but we were trying our best,” Carr said last week. “We weren’t trying to be careless or reckless.”

The event raised $300,000 for Waller’s foundation that helps young people overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

This is just the latest punishment handed to the Raiders for violating COVID-19 protocols this season.

Gruden was fined $100,000 and the team docked $250,000 when Gruden didn’t properly wear his mask on the sideline during the game against the Saints, the person said on condition of anonymity.

The person also said the Raiders were fined $50,000 for allowing an unauthorized employee in the locker room following that game.

Gruden said last month that he had the coronavirus in the offseason.

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