Who does the $300,000 fine of the Packers actually punish?

NFL: OCT 10 Packers at Bengals
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A day after the NFL gave quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers financial slaps on the wrist for multiple blatant COVID protocol violations, plenty of people with other teams remain confused and disillusioned by the league’s handling of the situation. They believe that the NFL has different standards, with teams that some in the league office don’t like getting targeted for aggressive investigation and enforcement and others getting treated with kid gloves.

In the case of the Packers, it’s fair to ask this simple question. Who if anyone does the $300,000 fine levied by the league punish?

They’re publicly owned. The money isn’t coming out of anyone’s pocket. No single person will make a single penny less in income as a result of the fine imposed against the organization. It will come ultimately from profits that get reinvested in the team, since there’s no owner to siphon the profits for personal use.

As business expenses go, it wasn’t a bad one. Given the tenuous nature of their relationship with Rodgers, the Packers were able to avoid inflaming the situation by not forcing him to wear a mask during press conferences or fining him for failing to do so, all for the low price (relatively speaking) of $300,000. Given what proper persistence and enforcement would have potentially done to the fragile truce between franchise and franchise quarterback, it was money well spent.

Which means it’s not a real punishment, and that the only true punishment comes from removing a draft pick or two. The Packers deliberately, consciously, and repeatedly allowed an unvaccinated player to behave as if he were vaccinated. And the league deliberately, consciously, and repeatedly stood back and let it all happen. As previously noted, if Rodgers had never tested positive, none of this ever would have come to light — and no one ever would have been disciplined.

There’s a troubling element to the failure of the Packers and the league to take action regarding Rodgers. They knew he was secretly unvaccinated, but they let him behave in the public eye as if he were vaccinated. The reporters in the press room thought the maskless quarterback was vaccinated, because he created the unmistakable impression that he was.

Opponents who approached him after games had reason to believe he was vaccinated, too. As one source explained it today, opponents of the Vikings and Colts have known all year to keep their distance from Kirk Cousins and Carson Wentz, respectively, after games if they’re concerned about the possibility that unvaccinated opponents may have COVID and could shedding more virus than vaccinated players would send into the air. With Rodgers, there was no reason to think anyone should tread lightly when close to him, because he behaved as if he was vaccinated.

That dynamic, coupled with the league’s time-honored shifting standards have left many upset and disappointed by the NFL’s decision to impose limited punishment on Rodgers and the Packers for an extended pattern of violations that happened intentionally and deliberately. Rodgers ultimately received the standard fine for one single violation, even though he had many. And the Packers will just slide some money around in the QuickBooks program, not even flinching at the the $300,000 involuntary donation to the charity of the NFL’s choice.

37 responses to “Who does the $300,000 fine of the Packers actually punish?

  1. Rules are rules. Punishment involving a deadly pandemic should not be handed out based on team or QB. Why should it even matter who is involved? Unvaccinated unmasked is dangerous and only prolongs Covid for everyone.

    But as so many have said, the NFL, the Packers and Rodgers don’t care.

  2. Maybe Rodgers NFL friends around the league will now look at him a bit differently now that he lied to them and put his opponents at risk.

  3. The IRS and Department of Taxation in Wisconsin since they will try to write off the full 300k.
    Not sure if it’s legally deductible since its a fine.

  4. Would it have been better for Rogers to go Cole Beasley? No, he didn’t try to tell anyone to not get vaccinated and in fact, just the opposite, he led people to believe he was vaccinated. State Farm got it right with their statement regarding Rogers by saying they encourage vaccination but respect individual choice.

  5. This team may have been a central player in influencing the framejobs against NE considering Pash and Murphy’s relationship, as a way to promote GBs dynastic legacy up against NE’s.

    I never really thought about it before, but without an owner, they can hide in the shadows and dictate from afar.

    How the Packers and Goodell can collude in front of the entire league and the fans and act they aren’t, is absolutely baffling.

  6. Absolutely laughable. Goodell, yet again, showing that there are Inner Circle teams and owners and everyone else. What a joke. Brady got 4 games and the Patriots had huge fines and loss of pick because of… what again? Footballs that were never proven to have been altered in any way and shrunk a bit in cold weather? And Brady was nailed for “integrity of the game.” How in the heck has Rodgers not violated the integrity of the game here? He lied on purpose, violated protocols, and risked his fellow teammates, coaches, and opponents’ health.

  7. Just checked. Cousins did another press conference today without a mask. Where’s the outrage?

  8. The Packers got the SAME punishment as first-time covid offenders did last year ($250k Raiders, $250k Saints, $250k Ravens, $250k Steelers, $350k Patriots). What is the “OUTRAGE!!” about?

    In addition, NO PLAYERS got fined last year for violating protocols:
    – Kamara unmasked and didn’t wear tracing bracelet – no punishment.
    – Titans and Saints players unmasked inside facilities – no player punished.
    – Raiders Trent Brown removed his tracing bracelet – no player punishment.

    To be fair, people should be “OUTRAGED!!” that Rodgers wasn’t treated the same and received a HARSHER penalty than the same violators last year.

  9. The fines are in line with what first-time offending teams like the Pats, Titans, Steelers, and Ravens were assessed last season. The Packers cooperated fully with the league investigation.

  10. Who does it punish? All the jealous haters who make fun of them for figuring out crowdfunding before it became a phenomenon.

  11. It’s absolutely ridiculous! The preferential treatment and pure favoritism here on display is shameful. How can anyone in the League office think this is the proper way to punish this blatant disregard of their rules… this isn’t an untucked jersey… heck this isn’t playing with the wrong color Jersey… this is one player being allowed to act more important than everyone else in the league constantly over a quarter of a year, and only being fined for a single instance… heck the Sean Payton fine wouldn’t even be enough for this blatant middle finger he stuck up to the league. Sorry but I think there has to be a petition to show the NFL they got this wrong and the people that make the NFL a thriving business will not accept this!

  12. I don’t understand: if both the Packers and the NFL “deliberately, consciously and repeatedly” allowed these violations to occur, if they both “knew he was secretly unvaccinated” then why are there any fines at all? Seems like they waived any objections by allowing it to happen repeatedly. Kinda like trying to back out of a criminal conspiracy after the crime is discovered.

  13. Excuse me NFL, Your favoritism is showing, Again! Blatant and Pathetic. There are 31 other teams that should be outraged and demanding an investigation!

  14. This is just one more example of Rodgers receiving preferential treatment. His entire career has been filled with the NFL kissing his butt and the referees “ensuring” he gets his wins with their blatant overzealous use of penalties when anyone even comes close to touching this arrogant prima donna. Since Rodgers has been associated with the Packers all he has done is cry! It’s one thing after another and it will never stop.

  15. It will hurt the team rather than the owner.
    That seems to me to be a good thing.
    Rather than meaning nothing it will mean that the team is actually punished for its behaviors.

    Green Bay is actually the only team that IS hurt by fines a it doesn’t have any deep pockets to make the hurt go away.

  16. How much does $300K hurt any of the daddy warbucks in NFL ownership circles. Who are you kidding??

  17. Rodgers jawing inches away from these elderly refs enhanced their risk. If I’m one of them, kiss the roughing the passers goodbye pal.

  18. The difference between this and last year’s penalties is that both the Packers and the League office knew that Rodgers was flouting the rules time after time after time, and they chose to do nothing about it, apparently engaging in the magical thinking that everything would be fine because Rodgers would never get COVID and be found out.

    The problem I have is in trying to figure out exactly what game the League office is playing here. In Deflategate, I don’t think it was an effort to attack Brady; he was collateral damage. Goodell wanted to prove to the other owners that he wasn’t in Robert Kraft’s pocket and, more importantly, he wanted a prominent case to prove that he had absolute power in matters of player discipline. He used Pash to hire a corrupt expert and outside law firm to generate a laughably false report. He made sure that process dragged out a long time and that he used that time to leak false information and to drag Brady in the court of public opinion. Goodell achieved his ignoble ends.

    But what is Goodell trying to achieve in this case? Is it just as simple as Pash being buds with Mark Murphy, as he was friends with Bruce Allen? Maybe it’s just that simple, but I can’t help but think there’s more to it.

  19. They will just pass it on to the fans in selling more shares of stock and raising prices in the stadium.

  20. remizak says: :The difference between this and last year’s penalties is that both the Packers and the League office knew that Rodgers was flouting the rules time after time after time, and they chose to do nothing about it”

    2020 Saints Week 17. Kamara got covid and entire RB had to sit out because Kamara refused to wear the contact-tracing bracelet ALL SEASON. Yet Kamara did not get a fine, even though the team knew he was flouting the rules too.

    And that was the Saints THIRD violation too.

  21. But what is Goodell trying to achieve in this case? Is it just as simple as Pash being buds with Mark Murphy, as he was friends with Bruce Allen? Maybe it’s just that simple, but I can’t help but think there’s more to it.

    Simple, IMO; they lost in the court of public opinion, similar to what you said about Brady. They HAD to do something, thanks to the uproar the story caused.

    I don’t think they had any intentions here whatsoever. The Packers knew Rodgers status, the NFL knows there are tons of unvaccinated players. I don’t believe they had any intention of doing anything, until tehy didn’t have a choice.

  22. The NFL will be better without Aaron Rodgers. He needs to recognize that fact and quit.
    Even if true, why would Aaron care?

  23. I’m a Packers fan, and feel Rodgers and the Pack deserve more punishment than they received. I’m also a realist.

    Several other teams were violating protocols as well. The videos are out there. The NFL was lenient because if they weren’t, the rest of the league would be getting hit with stuff left and right. It wouldn’t be a good look for the NFL.

    Let me be clear, it isn’t right. What the Pack did, and what Rodgers did was wrong and I as a fan am not happy about it. However if you think the low fines are because the League wants to protect the Pack, you are wrong. They wanted to protect themselves. It is wrong for any reason however.

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