Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis didn't hold back while speaking about how he honestly felt about the fines the NFL handed out to his team for "repeated violations of COVID-19 protocols." The NFL fined the Raiders $500,000, Raiders coach Jon Gruden $150,000 and the team was also stripped of their sixth round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
"The fines are draconian," Davis told ESPN on Friday. "But we will appeal them. Outside the organization, people have the wrong impression about the Raiders. We take it seriously. It's unfortunate that certain things outside the protocol are the things being focused on, rather than the positive steps we've taken as an organization.
You've been in the building. You've seen it." After Week 2, the NFL fined the Raiders $250,000 and coach Gruden $100,000 for not wearing a mask properly. After a Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints, the Raiders were alao fined $50,000 for allowing a non-credentialed employee to access the locker room after the game.
Also, Raiders tight end Darren Waller was fined $30,000 and nine other teammates were fined $15,000 each for appearing without a mask at an indoor charity event. "Jon and those guys are working their asses off every day.
But at the same time, [the NFL] feels we've failed some of those mandates," Davis insisted.
Raiders owner Davis claims his team takes the virus seriously
"We definitely take the virus seriously," Davis said.
"We definitely take the protocols seriously. We are not willingly violating protocol. And anyone inside our building will attest to that." When asked about the matter, Raiders coach Gruden didn't want to get too much into details.
"I'm just going to say [I'm] very proud of our organization, how we've handled this entire protocol and this entire process and I'm not going to comment any further than that," he said. "We, as I said last week, I believe we're on the cutting edge of being the best in servicing players and I'll leave it at that."
The Raiders have been performing well this season as they own a 4-3 record. "I'm really proud of the guys that I work with here," Gruden said. "We've done a heck of a job. It's very difficult, very difficult process and I stand by what we're doing here. I believe we're doing a heck of a job. We can always get better, and that's obvious."