Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper was fined $14,650 on Thursday by the NFL for breaking the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols for unvaccinated players.
As ESPN reported, the violation occurred when Cooper attended a Dallas Mavericks basketball game last week and did not wear a mask.
According to the NFL’s rules for unvaccinated players, “A player who is not fully vaccinated is prohibited from attending a professional sporting event 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.”
Cooper missed two games in November after testing positive for COVID-19.
Following the Cowboys week 18 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Cooper discussed doing everything possible to not get sick before the playoffs.
“You don’t want to get sick. This is the tournament,” Cooper said per The Dallas Morning News. “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.”
Cooper also discussed the risks of being in large crowds before the postseason while on an appearance on 105.3 “The Fan” in Dallas.
“I just think there’s risk all across the board,” Cooper said according to Jon Machota of The Athletic. “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. There’s a book, ‘The Tipping Point’ that talks about how things spread, like diseases in the environment. You can stay at home, but if you stay with somebody else, obviously they go out to their job or drop the kids off at school or whatever, just by them doing that, they’re coming into contact with probably over a million people just because of the person they come into contact with comes into contact with a whole bunch of different people, and so forth and so on.”
“When I do go somewhere, I mean, I was pictured (at the Maverick’s game) not wearing a mask, but that’s because I was eating and drinking,” he continued. “ 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 the environment that we’re in, where we have to go to practice, see each other, and then be around our families, there’s not really any safety in that, in my opinion.”
The Cowboys face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. eastern in the NFC Wild Card game.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].