The NFL has completed its review of Green Bay’s COVID protocol violations. And quarterback Aaron Rodgers escaped with a slap on the wrist.
According to the NFL, the Packers have been fined $ 300,000 for violations of the COVID protocol. Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard were fined $ 14,650 each for attending the Halloween party while not being vaccinated, according to the disciplinary schedule negotiated by the NFL and NFLPA. Joint COVID protocols prohibit unvaccinated players from congregating outside club facilities in a group of more than three players, according to the league.
The league said the Packers have been warned that future violations could lead to an escalation of discipline, including a possible change in draft position or loss of draft pick.
“The club has been fully cooperative in investigating violations of collectively negotiated NFL-NFLPA protocols,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT.
Regarding the press conferences at which Rodgers spoke at the establishment, the league concedes that “there is no argument that Aaron Rodgers should have worn a mask.” However, Rodgers was not fined by the league for the press conference violations, as (according to the league) the club has primary responsibility for upholding protocols.
The league also reviewed a “substantial video” of the club’s facilities. “While the review showed a few isolated cases of Rodgers and Allen Lazard failing to wear a mask at the facility, they were otherwise substantially compliant,” McCarthy said. “There has been no widespread or systemic violation of mask wearing. “
The fine for the Packers includes the Halloween party. “The team did not sanction the party but they were aware of it after it took place and did not discipline Rodgers or Lazard and report their violations to the league,” McCarthy said.
“We respect the League’s findings and recognize the importance of adhering to COVID protocols to ensure the safety and health of our team and our organization,” Packers CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “We will continue to educate the team on the importance of protocols and remain committed to operating within protocols. “
Obviously, however, they did not. Or they wouldn’t shell out $ 300,000.
The league is responsible for this as well. He has a system in place that forces teams to harass and harangue players into compliance. What did anyone expect the Packers to do about Rodgers, who was already angry with the organization? Chase him down and wave at him every time he breaks protocol?
Going forward, the Packers will either have to do that or face draft selection penalties. According to the league, Rodgers also warned by the NFL that future violations would result in increased discipline, including possible suspension.