The Green Bay Packers are paying the price of allowing Aaron Rodgers and potentially others to openly violate COVID-19 protocols.
The NFL fined the Packers $300,000 on Tuesday after reviewing the team's COVID-19 protocols, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky. The league is also reportedly fining Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard $14,560 each.
Packers president Mark Murphy accepted the sanctions in a statement released via Demovsky:
[quote] 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.
Any further protocol violations could result in increased discipline for the Packers, including a loss of draft picks.
The NFL's review found Rodgers and Lazard to have attended a Halloween party despite being unvaccinated, according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post. The pair were also reportedly found to be noncompliant with their mask-wearing, something the public is already well aware of.
Rodgers and the Packers have been under fire basically since the moment it was reported Rodgers was out due to COVID-19 protocols for last weekend's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodgers was designated as out early enough that he had to be unvaccinated, even though he had said he was "immunized" before the season, met with reporters without a mask (a protocol violation) and made no attempt to correct the record about his supposed vaccination. Lazard, who is also unvaccinated, was placed on the COVID-19 list as a close contact last month. He returned to the team days later.
Amid a torrent of criticism, Rodgers attempted to explain himself during an appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" last week, but only ended up damaging his reputation further. The reigning MVP complained of being "in the crosshairs of the woke mob," insisted the science of his homeopathic treatment was sound, cited Joe Rogan for much of his information and basically compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr.
The NFL bristled at one claim in particular made by Rodgers, who said a league doctor had told him it is impossible for a vaccinated person to contract COVID-19. The league released a statement hours after the interview asserting none of its doctors had spoken with Rodgers at all, much less told him such an obviously wrong piece of information.
Rodgers would later make a repeat appearance on Tuesday, saying he took "full responsibility" for comments perceived to be misleading and shrugging off any further criticism.