Report: Jon Gruden, Sean Payton rack up $700K in fines for mask violations on 'Monday Night Football'


The NFL has levied $700,000 in fines after Jon Gruden and Sean Payton failed to wear masks properly during Monday’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports.

Each head coach will be docked $100,000, while their respective teams will be fined $250,000 each.

Both coaches were seen repeatedly violating the league’s COVID-19 policy mandating that coaches wear a face covering on the sideline during games. Gruden’s mask was regularly hanging around his chin, while Payton declined to wear one at all for much of the game.

Second round of hefty mask fines

News broke during Monday’s game that the NFL had handed out more than $1 million in fines to three coaches and teams for mask violations on Sunday. Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and their teams were all fined on Monday.

Apparently, nobody passed that information to Gruden and Payton during the game.

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden celebrates after defeating the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
This is not how masks work. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

NFL’s mask policy

The NFL laid out its mask policy in a Sept. 14 memo vowing “accountability measures” for violations. Coaches are required to wear a face covering “so that it securely fits across the wearer’s nose and mouth to prevent transmission of the virus.”

“Accountability measures” in this instance appear to be six-figure fines.

Jon Gruden revealed COVID-19 diagnosis

Gruden revealed after the Raiders’ 34-24 win that he contracted COVID-19 over the summer. He also acknowledged that a fine might be coming his way.

“I’m doing my best,” Gruden said. “I’ve had the virus. I’m doing my best. I’m very sensitive about it, but I’m calling plays. I just wanna communicate in these situations and I apologize and if I get fined I’ll have to pay the fine, but I’m very sensitive about that and I apologize.”

The NFL is taking a significant risk by conducting its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. An outbreak among players or teams of any sort would be costly, and the NFL is taking precautions seriously.

So far the league has been a success in terms of the pandemic. As college football teams are plagued with outbreaks prompting regular postponements or cancellations of games, the NFL has effectively mitigated the spread of the coronavirus in league circles through the first two weeks of its season.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton speaks with quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Sean Payton didn't even pretend to wear a mask for much of Monday's game. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

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