Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper has been fined for attending a basketball game.
According to Todd Archer of ESPN, the NFL has fined the veteran receiver $14,650 after attending the Dallas Mavericks’ game versus the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 5. Cooper is being fined for violating league COVID-19 protocols as an unvaccinated player. He was seen sitting unmasked with teammate CeeDee Lamb.
“Amari Cooper was fined $14,650 by the NFL for violating the COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players by attending a Dallas Mavericks game last week and not wearing a mask, according to a source,” says Archer.
Cooper previously missed two games due to COVID-19 back in November. He’s exempt from daily testing for 90 days, but he still has to follow much stricter protocols in comparison to vaccinated players.
NFL rules state the following for unvaccinated players, via Charean Williams of NBC Sports:
“A player who is not fully vaccinated is prohibited from attending a professional sporting event unless he is seated in a separated seating section, such as a suite or owner’s box, is wearing PPE, and there are no more than 10 people in that separate seating section.”
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Cooper: ‘There’s Risk All Across the Board’
Cooper actually addressed the incident during his Jan. 7 appearance on local radio station 105.3 The Fan.
“I just think there’s risk all across the board,” Cooper said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “Even if I stay home, I don’t live by myself. I have people who stay with me who have to go out to their job and stuff like that. There’s a book, ‘The Tipping Point’ that talks about how things spread, like diseases in the environment. You can stay at home, but if you stay with somebody else, obviously they go out to their job or drop the kids off at school or whatever, just by them doing that, they’re coming into contact with probably over a million people just because of the person they come into contact with comes into contact with a whole bunch of different people, and so forth and so on.”
“When I do go somewhere, I mean, I was pictured not wearing a mask, but that’s because I was eating and drinking,” Cooper continued. “I don’t know how to do that with a mask on. So I just think there’s risk all across the board. I don’t feel like anybody is staying home, you know what I mean? Am I supposed to just sit in the house all day?”
Despite missing two games, Cooper still leads all Cowboys receivers with eight touchdowns on the season.
Prescott: ‘You’ve Got to Turn the Page’
The 2021 Cowboys bounced back in a big way.
After a disappointing playoff-less season in Mike McCarthy’s first year as head coach, Dallas won 12 games and won the NFC East. Dak Prescott came back from a major right ankle injury in 2020 and threw a franchise-record 37 touchdowns passes this season.
As the Cowboys enter a big playoff battle versus the San Francisco 49ers, Prescott knows the team is not judged by regular season success.
“The stats and all that, the way we finished was great. It’s what we wanted to do, build momentum, get in a rhythm – but none of that matters anymore,” Prescott said. “You get into this tournament, and it’s one game at a time. It’s must-win. So that’s the focus.”
“You’ve got to turn the page,” Prescott continued. “You can’t hang your hat on the regular season or 12 wins or winning the division, because none of it matters.”