The NFL has imposed a $500K fine and took away a seventh-round draft pick from the New Orleans Saints for the team not wearing masks during postgame celebrations following their victory over the New Orleans Saints back in Week 9, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Saints have appealed the league’s ruling, and believe other teams across the league also have celebrated victories without masks, but none has been been punished in the manner that the Saints have by the league.
The Saints, and several players, posted videos of their postgame locker room celebrations which showed players dancing and celebrating but not wearing masks, on social media platforms such as Instagram.
“It was actions in the video with unmasked players in the locker room after the game,” a league source told ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “The team also had previous violations and was provided ample warning that further actions would result in escalated discipline.”
The league issued a memo to all teams back on November 3rd, which noted their updated COVID-19 protocols, stating – “All players and staff must wear masks or double-layered gaiters in the locker room on gameday — prior to the game, during halftime, and post-game.”
The New England Patriots were also fined for protocol violations, which was reported on Sunday by NFL Network, hit with a $350,000 fine for violations related to positive tests of quarterback Cam Newton and others back in October.