HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller was fined $30,000 and nine of his teammates, including team captain and quarterback Derek Carr, were fined $15,000 each for breaking coronavirus protocols at a public charity event hosted by Waller’s foundation last week, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano, confirming an NFL Network report.
The players were mask-less for most of the event, which raised money to help youths battling addiction. Carr was photographed mingling and taking pictures with attendees, many of whom were also without masks.
“I’m well aware of that, yes,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Monday after reports of the fines surfaced. “And I know our players are going to handle that individually and I know they regret any harm they may have caused, and they’re very sensitive about it and we’ll handle it the right way.”
Besides Waller and Carr, other players fined were backup quarterback Nate Peterman, tight ends Jason Witten, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier, receivers Hunter Renfrow and Zay Jones, cornerback Nevin Lawson and practice squad center Erik Magnuson.
“Again, I’m going to reiterate that I’m really proud of our players and our staff and the job that we’ve done battling this virus,” Gruden said, “and it’ll continue.”
Las Vegas, though, has now been fined a combined $565,000 the past two weeks for violating protocols.
The Raiders were docked $250,000 and Gruden $100,000 for his not wearing a mask properly during the team’s season-opening win against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 21, and the team was slapped with an additional $50,000 fine for allowing a non-credentialed team employee access to the Allegiant Stadium locker room after that game.
Raiders players were fined a combined $165,000 for their actions at the charity event, which raised $300,000, Gruden said.
Since fines collected by the NFL are donated to charity, there is a push to have these fines donated to the Waller Foundation.
Also, the DragonRidge Country Club, which hosted the event, was fined $2,000 by the city of Henderson for four violations of the Nevada governor’s COVID-19 emergency directives, including people not wearing masks and more than 50 people in attendance at the event.
The NFL, meanwhile, issued a memo to teams on Monday that reiterated the need for compliance, saying, “Protocol violations that result in virus spread requiring adjustments to the schedule or otherwise impacting other teams will result in additional financial and competitive discipline, including the adjustment or loss of draft choices or even the forfeit of a game.
“Simply put, compliance is mandatory.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN last week, “Guys have to be more stringent in fighting the virus. It’s still our toughest opponent.”