On Friday ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers have been fined for not wearing masks during the team’s 28-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The league fined Tomlin $100,000 and the team $250,000.
It’s the same fine that other NFL coaches and teams have received for mask violations, including Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos, who were fined a total of $350,000 after Denver’s loss to the Steelers in Week 2.
To be sure, cameras did catch Tomlin without a mask during the game on Sunday (see the photo accompanying Schefter’s tweet, for example). But earlier this season, Tomlin said he was “trying to show a good example” in regard to mask wearing, at a time when Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers), Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks), Jon Gruden (Las Vegas Raiders) and Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints) had already been fined $100,000 each, with their teams assessed the additional $250,000 penalty as well. But Tomlin and his staff have rarely been seen not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly this season.
Nevertheless, a league memo issued in September warned about the importance of wearing masks—and wearing masks properly—during games. “Becoming careless or ignoring face covering and physical distancing requirements will put the 2020 season at risk,” emphasized the memo.
On Friday, the NFL issued its harshest COVID-19 penalty to date, stripping the Las Vegas Raiders of a sixth-round draft pick while fining the team $500,000 and head coach Jon Gruden $150,000.
Steelers Impacted by COVID-19 Cases on Other Teams
It’s perhaps worth noting that the Steelers have been operating under the NFL’s intensive COVID-19 protocol this week, ever since Ravens starting cornerback Marlon Humphrey tested positive for the virus on Monday. However, the Steelers have not reported any positive test results of their own in the wake of Humphrey’s diagnosis.
The Steelers have been forced to make various on-the-fly this season because of COVID-19 cases on other teams. Most notably, the Steelers-Titans game had to be rescheduled in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak among Titans player and coaches. (The Titans were subsequently investigated by the NFL for ‘failure to follow’ COVID-19 protocols and eventually punished for those violations.)
If you’re wondering how Evil Mike Tomlin (a parody account on Twitter) reacted to today’s fines, Evil Mike simply stated: “I’m too pretty to wear a mask.”
2 Steelers Players Fined for Uniform Violations
It’s been a bad week in terms of fines for members of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. On Tuesday, two Steelers players—wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner—were hit with fines for not wearing their socks properly during the October 25th game against the Tennessee Titans.
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