On Monday, I wrote about the possibility of the Pittsburgh Steelers being disciplined by the NFL for a video that was posted on social media of several players dancing in the locker room without masks on while celebrating the team’s win over the Indianapolis Colts that resulted in them winning the AFC North division. While we still don’t know for sure if the Steelers have indeed been disciplined by the league for that video, we now know as of Tuesday that the organization has heard from the NFL concerning the matter, according to what Mike Tomlin said during his weekly press conference.
“I haven’t heard directly from the National Football League, our organization has,” Tomlin said. “And that’s something that we are going to address with our group. Obviously, emotions were what they were in terms of being divisional champs, but we are in a global pandemic and we take that very seriously.
“And so, we’ve got to control our emotions. It is a continual education process in terms of making sure that our guys understand how important it is that we adhere to the protocols of the pandemic. And that being said, sometimes the education is punitive in nature, and that’s just the reality of it.”
Tomlin, however, would not define what he meant by, ‘sometimes the education is punitive in nature, and that’s just the reality of it.’
“But we’ll keep that business in-house and appropriately so as we work to keep all business in-house in that regard as it pertains to discipline,” Tomlin said. “But make no mistake about it, we take this global pandemic very seriously. We take the guidelines prescribed by the NFL very seriously. We work our tails off to adhere to them, even in the midst of a big emotional moments like we experienced after securing our AFC North divisional championship.”
So now we wait to see what kind of discipline the Steelers received from the NFL for the video. Early this season, the NFL fined the New Orleans Saints $500,000 and took away a seventh-round draft pick because players didn’t wear masks during their postgame celebrations after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-3 in Week 9. That was the Saints second offense related to COVID protocols
This makes a second offense for the Steelers as well as the organization was fined $350,000 in early November for violating NFL COVID-19 protocols after members of the team’s coaching staff failed to wear face coverings at all times during a game against the Baltimore Ravens. Specifically, the Steelers were fined $250,000 and head coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 for the violations during that game, according to a statement on the league’s website.
Tomlin, per usual, will attempt to use what happened this past weekend as a teaching tool.
“So, you know, in midst of all the excitement, there’s still lessons to be learned,” Tomlin said on Tuesday. “There’s still growth for us there, and we do not run away from it. We run to it.”