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NFL memo says events like Darren Waller’s are off-limits

Updated October 1, 2020 - 5:06 pm

The NFL on Thursday sent a memo to all 32 teams reinforcing post-exposure coronavirus protocols.

The memo reaffirmed that the NFL forbids the participation of its players from gatherings such as Monday’s Darren Waller Foundation event. “No team or player gatherings or group football activities will be permitted away from the facility,” the memo said.

Several Raiders players — including quarterback Derek Carr — attended a fundraiser hosted by Waller’s foundation and did not wear face coverings, prompting the team to reinforce the importance of adhering to proper protocols.

“I feel like, one, we’ve done a fantastic job here, and I hate that a few moments without our masks on led to a story about our team,” Carr said Wednesday. “So we felt terrible about that. We addressed it. We talked with coach. We talked with our trainers about what really went down.”

Waller’s event was in Henderson at DragonRidge Country Club, which was fined $2,000 by the city for violating the state’s COVID-19 emergency directives.

In addition, Nevada Occupational Safety & Health Administration spokesperson Terri Williams said Wednesday that the agency had launched an investigation into the Waller event.

The agency, which investigates alleged workplace safety violations, fined the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas almost $11,000 last month for hosting a Trump campaign event and beauty pageant that both failed to follow Nevada’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The ethos of the memo: “act as if every person you come in contact with has a COVID infection and take appropriate precautions,” it said.

The memo arrives during a challenging week for the NFL, as 11 members of the Tennessee Titans’ organization tested positive, prompting a postponement of the team’s Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Daily testing does not protect you from COVID,” the memo said. “All activities that an individual engages in during the time between testing impacts the potential for infection. To that end, it is essential to wear a face covering, maintain physical distancing at all times and practice healthy hand hygiene.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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