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#pounditFriday, January 15, 2021

Saints, Patriots the latest teams punished for mask violations

Sean Payton

The NFL continues to show teams that there will be serious consequences for not following COVID-19 protocols, and the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots are the latest to face disciplinary action.

The Saints were fined $500,000 and had to forfeit a seventh-round draft pick for violating mask protocols, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. New England has been fined $350,000 for similar violations.

The Saints’ latest punishment stems from their locker room celebration following their Week 9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not all members of the team were wearing masks during the celebration. New Orleans was also found to have conducted a meeting without masks.

New England’s fine stemmed from the way Cam Newton’s positive COVID-19 test was handled in Week 4.

The Saints were punished more harshly because they are considered repeat offenders. Sean Payton was fined $100,000 and the organization was fined $250,000 earlier in the season after the coach failed to following face-covering protocols.

Multiple teams have now been fined for COVID-19 protocols. The Las Vegas Raiders faced a similar penalty to the Saints, and the NFL is clearly committed to enforcing the rules.

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