The NFL has concluded its investigation into the Green Bay Packers' breach of COVID-19 protocols. According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the Packers have been fined $300,000 for violations of the NFL and NFLPA protocols. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard have been fined $14,650 each. Both players are unvaccinated.
Per Demovsky, violations uncovered included Rodgers not wearing a mask during his press conferences and the team not reporting that Rodgers and Lazard had attended a Halloween party. As NFL Media's Mike Garafolo explained, the get-together wasn't "sanctioned" by the team, but the league determined the Packers should have penalized both players.
The league also found "a few isolated instances" of Rodgers and Lazard failing to wear a mask in the facility. According to Demovsky, the Packers' cooperation during this investigation was taken into consideration when it came to punishment, but the team was warned that future missteps could bring increased discipline like "change in draft position or loss of draft choice."
"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," Packers team president Mark Murphy said in a statement to ESPN. "We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols."
This all comes after the reigning NFL MVP received serious blowback for his interview on The Pat McAfee Show, in which he defended his decision to not get vaccinated and also claimed the NFL's protocols were not always rooted in science. He publicly admitted to ignoring mask protocol as an unvaccinated player as well.
Less than a week after the initial interview, Rodgers essentially apologized for potentially "misleading" others.
"I do realize that I am a role model," Rodgers said at the start of his interview. "I just want to (acknowledge) that I made some comments that people may have felt were misleading. To anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments. And I'm excited about feeling better, I'm excited about moving forward ... and getting back to doing what I do best, and that's play ball."