Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper was fined by the NFL for violating the COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players, as expected a source confirmed.
Cooper was fined $14,650 for sitting courtside unmasked at the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 5. Cooper is one of two Cowboys players who are unvaccinated.
Cooper, who has already missed two games with COVID-19 in November, has a different set of protocols as an unvaccinated player. Per the rules, he is no longer subject to daily testing after his positive test, at least not for 90 days. Still, there are restrictions on his movements outside the club facility.
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According to the NFL’s 2021 regular season protocols, “A player who is not fully vaccinated is prohibited from attending a professional sporting event and unless he is seated in a separated seating section, such as a suite or owner’s box, is wearing PPE, and there are no more than 10 people in that separate seating section.”
The fine for a first offense of the protocols is $14,650.
Cooper defended his actions last week on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan last week.
“I just think there’s risk all across the board,” Cooper said on the radio. “Even if I stay home, I don’t live by myself. I have people who stay with me who have to go out to their job and stuff like that. When I do go somewhere, I mean, I was pictured not wearing a mask, but that’s because I was eating and drinking. I don’t know how to do that with a mask on. So I just think there’s risk all across the board. I don’t feel like anybody is staying home, you know what I mean? Am I supposed to just sit in the house all day?
“I don’t really understand how to be extra careful because just by us going to practice every day, being around each other, we have teammates on our team who have kids. They take their kids to school who are around hundreds of other kids, who are around their parents when they go home, so forth and so on. So I don’t feel like we can be safe in the environment that we’re in. I feel like the only way we can be safe is if no one goes out and everybody is quarantining for an extended amount of time.”
But Cooper had a different point of view following last Sunday’s 51-26 season finale victory against the Philadelphia Eagles when asked about protecting himself and teammates heading into the playoffs.
“You don’t want to get sick,” Cooper said. “This is the tournament. We train so hard in the offseason, OTAs, camp, to get to this point. We accomplished that goal thus far. We’re going to do everything we can do to not get sick. If that means isolation, then that’s what that means. Hopefully we can isolate enough to not catch it.”