The National Football League has fined the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard after a review showed the team and the two players violated league COVID-19 protocols.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the Packers were fined $300,000, while Rodgers and Lazard each received fines of $14,650, in adherence to the discipline schedule negotiated by the league and the NFL Players Associations, CNN reports.
The NFL's review determined that Rodgers and Lazard each attended a Halloween party despite being unvaccinated, which violates the league's COVID-19 protocols prohibiting unvaccinated players from gathering outside of team facilities in groups of more than three individuals.
The NFL said that while the Packers organization didn't sanction the party, it was aware of it and failed to report the violations to the league or discipline Rodgers and Lazard.
"We respect the League's findings and we recognize the importance of adherence to the COVID protocols to keep our team and organization safe and healthy. We will continue to educate the team regarding the importance of the protocols and remain committed to operating within the protocols," Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy told CNN.
The NFL said the Packers were fully cooperative with its investigation.
On Tuesday, addressed criticism that followed his recent comments on his decision not to get vaccinated by returning to the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday during his weekly 'Aaron Rodgers Tuesday' segment, speaking publicly for the first time since making the comments on McAfee's show last Friday amid testing positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday.
"I understand that people are suffering and this has been a really difficult time for the last two years on so many people," Rodgers said. "I think we all know individuals who've lost their lives personally, people who've lost their businesses, their livelihoods, their way of life has been altered completely and I empathize with those things.
"And I also know how sports can be such a connector and bring people together in times of adversity and I do realize that I am a role model to a lot of people, and so I just want to start off this show by acknowledging that I made some comments that people might have thought were misleading and to anybody who felt misled by those comments I take full responsibility for those comments."
Rodgers -- who was ruled out of Sunday's 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive last week -- made a sporadic appearance on the Pat McAfee Show last Friday and claimed to be allergic to an ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, while also having concerns over reported adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Rodgers said he underwent alternate treatments, which is why he claimed to be "immunized" when asked if he was vaccinated amid his return to the Packers earlier this year.
The reigning NFL MVP's comments were met with backlash, which included Wisconsin-based health care organization Preva Health ending its partnership with the quarterback, who served as its spokesperson supporting health and awareness initiatives since 2012.
"Prevea Health remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers, and communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes encouraging and helping all eligible populations to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent the virus from further significantly impacting lives and livelihoods," Prevea Health said in a statement.
Rodgers was previously asked if he was vaccinated and responded, "yeah, I'm immunized," as shown in a video shared by NBC 26 reporter Chancellor Johnson on Wednesday.
Rodgers currently has 1,894 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions on 173 of 258 passing, while leading the Packers to a seven-game winning streak and a 7-1 record.
The former Super Bowl champion also managed to lead Green Bay to a 24-21 victory against the then-undefeated Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, October 28th despite being without his three top receivers Davante Adams, Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.