In a move by the NFL designed to send a message about compliance with COVID-19 protocols, Seattle coach Pete Carroll and two others were fined $100,000 Monday for violating rules regarding wearing face coverings in the bench area.
Other coaches fined were Denver’s Vic Fangio and San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan.
Each team also was fined $250,000.
Carroll was fined for non-compliance during the 35-30 victory Sunday night over the Patriots.
The fines come in the wake of the NFL last week having sent teams a memo reiterating that the league expected compliance from coaches with the rules.
The fines being levied are an apparent next step at showing the NFL intends to levy consequences.
Pro Football Talk reported that the fines were as large as they are to try to dissuade coaches — who all make significant salaries — from viewing the fines as “the cost of doing business’’ and simply paying them and moving on, with the thought that a six-figure fine “will get their attention.’’
PFT reported that fines for future offenses likely would be even greater.
The memo from the league last week stated: “The NFL-NFLPA (Players Association) gameday protocol, which reflects the advice of infectious disease experts, club medical staffs and local and state governmental regulations, requires all individuals with bench area access [including coaches and members of the club medical staff] to wear face coverings at all times.
“Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs. The face covering must be worn as designed so that it securely fits across the wearer’s nose and mouth to prevent the transmission of the virus.”
Carroll on Friday talked proudly of how the Seahawks had yet to have a positive test for COVID-19, having navigated training camp as well as the season-opening trip to Atlanta to that point, calling it “a major accomplishment.” Carroll cited the league’s policy of testing every day as one reason for the league having had few positive tests.