Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr claimed he and his teammates felt "terrible" after they broke COVID-19 protocols as the pictures of them appearing maskless at an indoor charity event surfaced. Carr and the rest of Raiders players were at a fundraiser for teammate Darren Waller' foundation to help at-risk youth overcome addiction.
Waller, who put up big numbers last season and is now off to a good start to this season, recently opened up about battling alcohol and drugs addictions earlier in his career but he is now three years sober. "I hate that a few moments without our masks on led to a story about our team and all this kind of stuff, especially after the fines that were brought on a couple of weeks ago," Carr said," per ESPN and the Associated Press.
"So, we felt terrible about that. We addressed it, we talked with Coach and we talked with our trainers about what really went down and all that kind of stuff."
Carr insists the Raiders weren't reckless
Over a week ago, the Raiders played their first home game in Las Vegas at the newly-built Allegiant Stadium.
It was a perfect debut for the Raiders, who surprised the Super Bowl contenders New Orleans Saints 34-24. But after the game, the NFL fined Raiders coach Jon Gruden $100,000 for not wearing his mask properly during the game, while the team was fined $250,000.
"We signed waivers," Carr said. "Hand sanitizer, like crazy. ... We weren't perfect, but we weren't trying to be careless or reckless. But at the same time, [Waller] had an event for something that meant a lot to him and they raised so much money that you won't even begin to imagine how much money they raised to help other people that struggle with addiction, to get them in the right place and things like that.
My hope and my prayer is that a few moments of us messing up, a few minutes here, where we were seen on camera, not in the private room, in the separate room for an hour, I hope that we don't lose what was really going on.
Because Darren had a great idea. He had a great plan. He wants to help people. "We should have kept the masks on, even if we are coming in and they're introducing us. ... I was just there trying to support Waller. That's what me and the guys were trying to do, but that's the end of that."