NFL Hands Down $1M in Fines Over Face Masks

Head coaches for Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers now owe $100K each for not following safety protocols
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2020 8:11 AM CDT
NFL Fines 3 Coaches Over Face Masks
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrates after a touchdown during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots on Sunday in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

A week after the NFL warned its coaches and teams about following proper safety protocols regarding COVID-19, the league has now handed down more than $1 million in fines, including to three head coaches. Sources tell ESPN that Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll, and Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers each got hit with a $100,000 fine for not wearing face masks covering their noses and mouths on the sidelines; Yahoo Sports has a picture. Those three teams also each got slammed with an additional $250,000 fine. Players aren't subject to the face covering rule, but all other nonplayers on the sidelines in the "bench area" (the part of the sideline between the 30-yard lines) are, according to a memo sent last week by NFL exec Troy Vincent, per CBS Sports.

ESPN notes there'd been a "wide variance in compliance" during the first Sunday of games, which led to Vincent's memo. Carroll, Fangio, and Shanahan were seen at various points in this past Sunday's games with their face coverings around their necks. Other coaches—including Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, and the Las Vegas Raiders' Jon Gruden, who's already had COVID-19—may also be fined, based on documentation of their own mask flouting. "We must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union, and clubs, but also by state and local governments," Vincent said in his memo. "Becoming careless or ignoring face covering and physical distancing requirements will put the 2020 season at risk." (More NFL stories.)

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