The NFL has laid out several new COVID-19-related rules for its upcoming season aimed at preventing outbreaks in the league.
Every time a player violates a COVID-19 safety rule, they will be fined $14,650, ESPN reported Saturday (July 24). That’s in addition to the league's announcement that a team who has a coronavirus outbreak among its players, forcing a game cancellation, will automatically forfeit the game to the other team. The new hefty fine could be imposed if a player simply doesn’t wear a mask.
“I don’t like fining players, but I’m not going to tell anybody to get a mask on,” Bruce Arians, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, told the Tampa Bay Times, according to The Huffington Post. “They’ll just get automatically hit with $14,000,” the Super Bowl-winning coach added.
ESPN checked in with the NFL to confirm Arians’ interpretation of the new rule, which NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said was correct. The new guidelines encourage players to get tested on a daily basis, wearing masks, and maintain social distance protocols for unvaccinated players.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shared that over 75% of players have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, though some players have publicly shared they aren’t interested in getting inoculated.
In a now-deleted tweet, Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette said, “Vaccine I can’t do it.”
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