Report: Packers, Rodgers and Lazard fined for violating COVID-19 protocols
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A new report states the Green Bay Packers will be fined following a review of the team’s COVID-19 protocols by the NFL.
According to Cover 2 contributor Rob Demovsky, a source tells him the Packers will be fined $300,000 for violations of the NFL and NFL Players Association protocols. In addition, the source says Aaron Rodgers and receiver Allen Lazard have each been fined $14,650.
The NFL Network reports the fines for Rodgers and Lazard are due to them attending a team-sanctioned Halloween party while unvaccinated. According to the NFL and NFLPA COVID-19 protocols, fines for unvaccinated players who violate COVID-19 protocols start at $14,650, up to a week’s salary and/or suspension for 4 weeks for repeated violations. The team is reportedly being fined due to the franchise not penalizing both players.
In addition, NFL Network reports the review found there were instances where Rodgers and Lazard weren’t wearing face coverings inside the team facility, however the report goes on to say the league found the team was otherwise compliant, and there wasn’t widespread or systematic mask-wearing violations.
Packers president Mark Murphy issued the following statement regarding the fine:
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.
ESPN reports the team was made aware that future violations could result in escalated discipline, such as a possible change of draft position, or a loss of draft choices.
Collected fines are donated through the NFL Foundation to help Legend players in need.
The fines come as Rodgers recovers from COVID-19, after testing positive for the virus which causes the disease last week. After he tested positive, it was made public that he wasn’t vaccinated. As Action 2 News previously reported, the NFL said at the time that it would be “reviewing the matter with the Packers” and also added teams have been disciplined for not enforcing COVID-19 protocols which were announced over the summer.
Lazard, who had been put on the team’s COVID-19 reserve list on October 26, has since returned to the field, and was active for this past weekend’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The soonest Rodgers could return is this Saturday - one day before the team plays at home against the Seattle Seahawks - if he tests negative twice within a 24 hour period.
Rodgers made waves last Friday when he went on the Pat McAfee Show and said his personal health decisions should be private, and said he’s been a victim of shaming from a “woke mob.”
Rodgers stated he has an allergy to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines--Pfizer and Moderna--and that’s part of the reason he didn’t get vaccinated. He said he did not want to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of some reports of blood clots in people who got the J&J shot. The CDC has recommended the J&J vaccine, saying clotting is rare.
Rodgers says the Packers organization and his teammates are aware of his vaccination status. During Friday’s appearance, he said he didn’t lie to the public in August when he was asked if he was vaccinated and responded that he was “immunized.”
“It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie, it was the truth,” Rodgers said Friday. He said he would’ve explained if there was a follow up.
“I didn’t lie in the initial press conference. During that time it was a very witch hunt going on across the league when everybody in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and who wasn’t and what that meant and who was being selfish and who was talking about it and what it meant if they said it was a personal decision. They shouldn’t have to disclose their own medical information and what not,” Rodgers said. “I wanted it to go away. Everybody in the organization knew I wasn’t vaccinated. I was trying to mitigate having this conversation going on and on.”
On Tuesday, Rodgers again appeared on the Pat McAfee Show, and said he takes responsibility for his words, which were criticized.
“I realize that I am a role model to a lot of people, and I just want to start off by acknowledging that. I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. To anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments,” Rodgers said.
This past weekend, Prevea Health announced the healthcare system and Rodgers no longer had a partnership as of Saturday, November 6.
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