Vic Fangio Fined $100K for Not Wearing Mask in Week 2, Broncos Hit with $250K
The hits, both literally and figuratively, keep on coming for Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos. As if the rash of injuries Fangio and company have suffered to all of their best players through two weeks weren't enough.
The NFL is taking the pandemic and its protocols with the utmost seriousness. In fact, the league has done a surprisingly good job of keeping COVID-19 from derailing the season thus far and has done so without playing in a bubble.
The NFL deserves credit for its success in that department thus far. However, some are going to question the heavy-handed way that the league is enforcing its mask mandates on gameday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday evening that Fangio been fined $100K for not wearing his mask enough during the Broncos' 26-21 Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (he didn't perfectly obey the mask madate in Week 1 either). The Broncos were fined $250K. Fangio and the Broncos weren't the only ones hit hard by the NFL.
"NFL fined three head coaches - - Denver’s Vic Fangio, Seattle’s Pete Carroll and SF’s Kyle Shanahan - $100,000 each for not wearing masks Sunday, and each of their teams another $250,000, sources told ESPN. So that’s $1.05 million dollars in fines for not wearing masks," Schefter tweeted.
What happens next for the Broncos heading into Week 3? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second and sign up for our FREE newsletter and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!
That's a massive fine for a head coach. The league is looking to make an example of the coaches and teams who don't perfectly follow gameday mask protocols, and it's all about the optics.
All the time that Fangio spends in the same meeting rooms, locker room, planes, and busses with his players and assistants, is he really risking any additional infection by not wearing his mask on the sideline? Especially when he's tested daily? These are questions that already indignant fans have reached out to me with.
Optics are a powerful thing, though. In the PR arena and court of public opinion, the NFL isn't messing around.
The message? We're taking our COVID-19 protocols with the utmost seriousness and the success of the 2020 season comes down to the relative safety and health of our players and coaches.
For a coach who preaches fiscal wisdom and responsibility to his players, that $100K fine is really going to sting Fangio. He probably should have known better and should have anticipated the possible repercussions from the league for not perfectly obeying the mask protocol.
But if he got lost in his playbook in the clutch in Week 1, failing to call a timeout, is it all that surprising that in the heat of battle, Fangio would also forget to keep his mask on? I'll let you answer that one.