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'They got me:' Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie says he was fined for violating NFL mask policy

Isaiah McKenzie Bills Football
Posted at 9:23 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 09:28:52-04

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Bills wide receiver and kick returner Isaiah McKenzie says he was fined more than $14,000 for violating the NFL's mask policy.

On Twitter Thursday morning, McKenzie wrote, "they got me! NFL you win!" and shared a picture of the letter sent to him by the league.

The letter, which McKenzie tweeted with his personal email address unobscured, reads as follows:

Dear Isaiah:

On August 25, 2021, at approximately 2:15 p.m. while walking through the indoor fieldhouse and into the training room, you failed to wear a mask. Then at approximately 4:35 p.m. on August 25, for several minutes, you again failed to wear a mask in the meeting area of the weight room while gathered near other players after the offensive meeting.

Your refusal to wear a mask occurred after you were informed that it was required for unvaccinated players as set forth in your 2021 club discipline schedule and as reiterated by signage throughout the club facility stating that unvaccinated players may be subject to fines/discipline for failing to wear a mask. Your refusal to wear a mask also occurred shortly after league staff gave a presentation on August 25 regarding the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocols (the "Protocols"), including the mask-wearing requirement and that unvaccinated players are subject to fines/discipline for refusal to wear a mask. In addition, by letter dated July 27, 2021, you received a written warning for refusing to wear a mask and were specifically advised that "future violations of the Protocols will be result in increased discipline, including for conduct detrimental." Still, as noted above, you again refused to wear a mask at the club facility.

For players who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, like you, your conduct is expressly prohibited by the Protocols. Again, your conduct potentially compromised not only your safety, but also the safety of others, as well as the league's ability to ensure that your club's training camp is conducted in a safe manner.

The Protocols provide that the NFL may impose discipline on any player who engages in conduct listed in Appendix A of the Protocols, for a first offense, up to the maximum amount specified for each type of conduct. Appendix A of the Protocols . . .

The letter appears to go on for a second page, but that page was not included in the tweet.

McKenzie tweeted "$14,650, damn. Pray for me," indicating the fine imposed by the league was more than $14,000.

The day before the NFL says McKenzie was in the facility without a mask, against protocols, the team had to send home four players who had been in close contact with a vaccinated trainer who tested positive for COVID-19. They included two other wide receivers, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis.

Beasley quote tweeted McKenzie, writing in part, "don’t worry they got me too. But I was wearing a mask when I was in close contact with fully vaxxed trainer who tested positive and still got sent home. So what’s the point of the mask anyways?"

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