At a time when the Denver Broncos were losing their quarterbacks, the New Orleans Saints lost a draft pick.
The NFL fined the Saints $ 500,000 and removed a seventh round draft pick for failing to wear masks during their post-game celebrations after beating Tampa Bay 38-3 in Week 9.
The Saints, who weren't too pleased with the discipline, appealed the league's decision. The Saints believe other teams across the league have also celebrated maskless wins, but none have been hit like New Orleans.
The Saints players and the team themselves posted celebratory videos from their locker room after the game and immediately caught the NFL's attention. Head coach Sean Payton, linebacker Demario Davis and quarterback Jameis Winston, who made his season debut defeating his former team, were among those seen dancing and partying in the video posted on Instagram by receiver Tre & # 39; Quan Smith.
Davis and C.J. Gardner-Johnson also posted videos on social media about the dancing and partying after the game. The Saints no longer have videos of the locker room celebration on their official Twitter account.
The NFL took similar action against the Raiders earlier this season when Las Vegas was fined $ 500,000, head coach Jon Gruden was fined $ 150,000, and the franchise for violating the COVID-19 – Protocol was deleted from the sixth round.
One issue the league was focusing on, according to sources, was that Payton and the Saints like Gruden and the Raiders are repeat offenders. Payton was fined $ 100,000 and the Saints $ 250,000 for not wearing a mask during his second week in New Orleans in Las Vegas. NFL discipline is almost always stricter for repeat offenders.
The NFL sent a memo to all teams on November 3rd with updated COVID-19 logs stressing: "All players and staff must wear masks or two-layer gaiters in the locker room on match day – before the game, during halftime and after the game. "
Talks between the Saints and the NFL continue, according to sources, but the dressing room celebration video was visible to all.