The NFL has fined three of The League’s teams for violations involving off season workouts or OTA’s. Noting that the violations were against the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, and the San Francisco 49ers; along with their head coaches were deemed responsible.

While the exact violations were not revealed, they normally evolve around on field activities. During the OTA’s the players do not wear any form of padding other than a helmet; as a result, any contact is very limited.

The Jacksonville Jaguars received the biggest fine of $200,000 with head coach Urban Meyer being fined 100,000. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers each received $100,000 fines with Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan each receiving $50,000 fines.

The three teams will also lose some OTA days in 2022; however, the number has not been announced.

San Francisco 49er players Justin Skule and Tarvarius Moore have been injured during their OTA’s and may miss the 2021 playing season.

In other NFL news, the Washington Football Team and team owner Dan Snyder has been fined $10 million for workplace conduct violations.

In an independent investigation, counsel Beth Wilkinson has determined that a culture of an improper workplace environment has been in existence for many year. According to reports, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has determined that the Washington team, “both generally and particularly for women in a highly unprofessional manner.” Such behaviour included, “bullying, intimidation, multiple allegations of sexual harassment and a general lack of respect in the workplace.”

Goodell added, “I want to thank Beth Wilkinson and her team for conducting a thorough and independent review of the Washington club’s workplace culture and conduct and providing both the club and me with a series of thoughtful recommendations based on her findings. Beth and her team performed their work in a highly professional and ethical manner. Most importantly, I want to thank the current and former employees who spoke to Beth and her team; they provided vital information that will help ensure that the workplace environment at the club continues to improve. It is incredibly difficult to relive painful memories. I am grateful to everyone who courageously came forward.”

Owner Dan Snyder is stepping away from the day to day running of the front office and team; co-CEO Tanya Snyder will now take over those duties for the foreseeable future. Snyder noted that he will be “developing a new stadium plan and other matters.”

Snyder spoke on the ruling saying, “I have learned a lot in the past few months about how my club operated, and the kind of workplace that we had. It is now clear that the culture was not what it should be, but I did not realize the extent of the problems, or my role in allowing that culture to develop and continue. I know that as the owner, I am ultimately responsible for the workplace. I have said that and I say it again.”

He added, “I feel great remorse for the people who had difficult, even traumatic, experiences while working here. I’m truly sorry for that. I can’t turn back the clock, but I promise that nobody who works here will ever have that kind of experience again, at least not as long as Tanya and I are the owners of this team. I agree with the Commissioner’s decisions in this matter and am committed to implementing his investigation’s important recommendations.”

The NFL launched their investigation in August of last year after the story first appeared in the Washington Post on July 15. Wilkinson was originally hired by Snyder himself but later asked the NFL to take over oversight of the investigation. The Post article wrote of allegations of sexual harassment by 15 former employees who were female.

The NFL stated that money from the fine will go “to support organizations committed to character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships and related topics; as well as, improving workplace conditions for female and other minority employees.

Included in her report Wilkinson made a number of suggestions for improvement including…
protocols for reporting any harassment
plans for disciplinary action and sensitivity training
regular culture surveys
a more diverse work environment
establishing clearer lines of authority
a system of performance management and compensation
regularly assessing team policies
and protecting the cheerleaders

Along with the fine, the Team will have to make regular reports on changes and progress via a third party to the NFL.

Failure to comply with the ruling could result in further penalties.