Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper fined for sitting courtside at Mavericks game maskless
Following the Dallas Cowboys' regular-season finale, wide receiver Amari Cooper vowed his team would "do everything" to avoid getting sick ahead of the postseason.
But first, Cooper has to bear the consequences of his actions.
On Thursday, the NFL fined Cooper $14,650 for conduct detrimental to the team after he violated COVID-19 protocols by sitting maskless at a Dallas Mavericks game, according to ESPN and Spotrac, which tracks fines and suspensions throughout the season.
Cooper, who isn't vaccinated, and teammate CeeDee Lamb, who is vaccinated, attended the Mavericks game on Jan. 5 when Dallas retired Dirk Nowitzki's jersey. Cooper and Lamb were maskless courtside, the same day rookie linebacker Micah Parsons tested positive for COVID-19.
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The Cowboys played the Philadelphia Eagles days later on Jan. 8. After their 51-26 win, Cooper and Lamb acknowledged that they were going to "tighten up" in the postseason.
"We understand where we’re trying to go," Lamb told reporters. "I didn’t really get the criticism part. I understand we’re in the playoffs and a lot of things can come from going to the (Mavericks) game. COVID is a big thing, so I’m trying to tighten things up and prepare for the next game.”
Cooper, who sat out two games in November after testing positive for COVID-19, said he and his teammates don't "want to get sick" in the pivotal playoff push.
"This is the tournament. We train so hard in the offseason, OTAs, camp, to get to this point. We accomplished that goal thus far," Cooper said. "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."
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Last month, Cooper attended the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between his alma mater Alabama and Cincinnati with teammate Trevon Diggs. They were both maskless.
According to ESPN, an unvaccinated player can attend a sporting event, only if they sit in a luxury suite with a mask and not be surrounded by more than 10 people.
Lamb and Diggs, bot vaccinated, were not fined.