The NFL issued fines to the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Allen Lazard after its review found the team and its two players did not follow league Covid-19 protocols, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Tuesday.
The Packers were fined $300,000, while Rodgers and Lazard were each fined $14,650, according to the discipline schedule negotiated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
The NFL determined Rodgers and Lazard each attended a Halloween party despite being unvaccinated, a violation of protocols prohibiting unvaccinated players from gathering outside of team facilities in a group of more than three players.
The NFL said while the team did not sanction the party, it was aware of the party after the fact and is being fined for failure to report the violations to the NFL and failure to discipline Rodgers and Lazard.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy told CNN, “We respect the League’s findings and we recognize the importance of adherence to the COVID protocols to keep our team and organization safe and healthy. We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols.”
The league noted the Packers were fully cooperative with the NFL’s investigation, which revealed other occasions in which the Packers failed to strictly enforce the NFL-NFLPA Covid-19 protocols.
A review of video from inside the Packers’ facility showed a few isolated instances of Rodgers and Allen Lazard failing to wear a mask, but determined there was no widespread or systemic mask-wearing violations.
The NFL also noted the unvaccinated Rodgers should have been wearing a mask during press conferences.
The Packers were informed by the NFL subsequent violations could result in further discipline, including possible change of draft position or loss of draft choices. The players were also warned additional violations could result in future discipline.
The fines come as Rodgers has already faced scrutiny after comments he made on “The Pat McAfee Show” about his vaccination status and being “in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now” over his vaccination status. He said he took “full responsibility” for the comments Tuesday.
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