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Why are the Raiders being investigated by the NFL?

The Las Vegas Raiders face a second fine from NFL after a reported second violation of the NFL's strict Covid-19 safety protocols.

Head coach Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders smiles after the Raiders defeated the New Orleans Saints
Ethan MillerAFP

The Las Vegas Raiders are in hot water again following a reported second violation of the NFL's strict Covid-19 safety protocols.  The allegations, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, stem from an unauthorized team employee gaining access to the team locker room after the Raider's 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints Monday evening.  Reportedly, the team employee bypassed security checkpoints to enter the team's locker room according to the NFL.

Besides the players, NFL Covid-19 safety protocol says only 40 credentialed team employees are allowed in the locker room from six specific categories plus three ownership representatives.  These include the general manager, the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, equipment staff, one security team member, and one public relations member.  This is in an effort to stop or at least reduce the spread of Covid-19.  Additionally, protocol calls for testing the players every day except for game day, which were put in place for the rest of the season until further notice.  So far the NFL have been happy with results, reporting few cases since the start of the season in their weekly reports.

Combined $1.75 million in fines.

The NFL is investigating the matter and will most likely not give them much leeway as it would be the Raider's second offence in as many weeks. Last week, the Raider's and head coach Jon Gruden were fined $250,000 and $100,000 respectively for face mask violations.  They were joined by the Denver Broncos, the New Orleans Saints, the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks and their head coaches who were fined the same amounts for the same violation.  Gruden apologized in a Zoom press conference for the infraction saying "I've had the virus, I'm doing my best.  I'm very sensitive about it.  ...I'm calling plays.  I just want to communicate in these situations, and if I get fined, I'll have to pay the fine.  But I'm very sensitive about that, and I apologize."

The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, told USA Today "It's consistent with the message, you can't let up.  We've got to consistently do the things that have gotten us to this place and not think 'OK, things have gone so well, so it's OK now.'  It's not.  You've got to stay on your toes and we've got to continue to be disciplined."


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