The Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly facing an NFL investigation for an alleged breach of the league’s COVID-19 protocol at a game last week.
A report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter claimed that the league is investigating whether the Raiders allowed unauthorized access to its locker room following the Monday Night Football win over the New Orleans Saints. The infraction supposedly took place when an employee entered the locker room without the proper credentials. There was no indication that the person in question was infected.
The report noted that the league has put stringent rules in place to prevent the spread of the virus, which brought all major American sports leagues to a halt back in March as lockdown measures went in place across the country. The NFL has instituted a number of rules meant to cut down on contact, including requiring teams to send just one player to serve as captain for the coin toss.
Those new rules include restrictions on how many employees can enter restricted areas, Schefter reported.
“This season, only 40 employees in each organization are allowed to be in the locker room, based on the NFL policy distributed to all teams,” the report noted. “Employees allowed in the locker room, aside from the players, are the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, the equipment staff, the general manager, one member of team security and one member of the team’s public relations/communications department.”
The NFL has already shown that it will come down hard on infractions. The league levied a fine of $100,000 against Raiders coach Jon Gruden and the franchise itself was also fined $25,000 after the coach was seen frequently without his mask on the sidelines.
After the infraction, Gruden apologized but explained that he was trying to communicate on the sidelines.
“I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate in these situations, and if I get fined, I’ll have to pay the fine,” said Gruden, who had suffered a coronavirus infection and recovered earlier in the year. “But I’m very sensitive about that, and I apologize.”
Other leagues have also cracked down on infractions of strict coronavirus rules. Earlier this month, Houston Rockets forward Danuel House was kicked out of the NBA bubble permanently after a violation of the health and safety protocol. As Click2Houston reported, House invited an unauthorized guest into his hotel in the days prior. His absence left the team shorthanded, and the Rockets went on to lose their playoff series.
It was not clear what discipline the Raiders could be facing if the investigation found them guilty of breaking the coronavirus protocols.