The Las Vegas Raiders have already given the NFL some headaches over the COVID-19 protocols that are new to this season. It started with head coach Jon Gruden getting fined for not wearing his mask on the sidelines and most recently, multiple players from the team were seen at a fundraiser in Las Vegas while not wearing masks. Derek Carr, Hunter Renfrow, Nathan Peterman, Nevin Lawson, Zay Jones and Jason Witten were the players who were in attendance for the charity event that was hosted by Darren Waller.
While it was all for a good cause, there are many who are not happy with the fact that the players broke COVID-19 protocol. Raiders owner Mark Davis is one of them.
“Guys have to be more stringent in fighting the virus,” Davis said, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “It’s still our toughest opponent.”
With the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans having to postpone a game due to several positive COVID-19 tests among the players, concern over the virus is at a high point for the league. None of the Raiders players who attended the event have tested positive yet.
Jon Gruden Addresses Issue
Gruden has unique insight on the virus because he’s actually had to overcome it personally. However, the coach doesn’t seem to be too upset with the players and is more focused on the money they helped raise.
“I’ll just say this: We’ve done a good job, we’ve done an excellent job,” Gruden said Wednesday. “Last night, it was addressed with our players. They walked in with their masks on, there was an event. Sometimes you go to a restaurant, take your mask off. They’re aware of their mistake.
“But we’ve done an excellent job – using our masks, taking proper care of each other and everybody. I’m really proud of our players. And by the way, that was a great cause no one’s talked about. [Waller] raised over $300,000 for a great cause. I appreciate our players being there in support of him.”
It wasn’t a great look for the Raiders but it sounds like they’ll be able to learn from their mistake.
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Carr Agrees That Players Messed Up
Quarterback Derek Carr is the leader of the team and his appearance without a mask at the event made it all the more notable. He was happy to support the cause but knows that they messed up.
“We should have kept the masks on, even if we are coming in and they’re introducing us,” Carr said Wednesday. “I was just there trying to support Waller. That’s what me and the guys were trying to do.”
The NFL is reportedly looking into the event, according to ESPN. There hasn’t been word on any potential punishment but there has been talk about teams getting stiff fines or hit with suspensions for breaking the rules. There’s also been talk about losing draft picks. If the Raiders are able to get out of this with just a slap on the wrist, they’ll likely make sure to not break the rules for the rest of the season.