The NFL has cracked down on the Saints after viral videos showed them celebrating in their locker room without wearing masks.
The Saints have been stripped of their seventh-round draft pick and fined $500,000, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The violations took place after the Saints beat the Buccaneers 38-3 in Week 9. Videos, including at least one posted on the Saints’ official social media outlets, showed Saints players and coaches yelling, laughing and hugging each other in the locker room without masks afterward.
According to Schefter, the Saints are appealing the decision and are claiming other teams have had similar mask-free celebrations without being disciplined. The Saints are considered repeat offenders because coach Sean Payton has previously been fined for failing to wear a mask, and the Saints franchise was fined at the same time.
The Saints are the second team this season to be docked a draft pick for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. The Raiders were stripped of a sixth-round pick.