Washington Football Team Quarterback Fined $40K for Violating COVID Protocols at Maskless Party

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins was fined $40,000 and stripped of his role as team captain on Wednesday after photographs of him violating coronavirus safety protocols emerged on social media, ESPN reported.

The images of the 23-year-old, who recently rejoined the team after coming back from injury, were initially posted on an Instagram Story before being republished on Twitter.

One of the photos showed Haskins without a mask on and in close contact with a woman also not wearing a mask. The pictures were reportedly taken on Sunday at a hotel birthday party for his girlfriend where strippers were present, according to ESPN.

Haskins posted an apology on Twitter on Tuesday that announced he had spoken with coach Ron Rivera about the situation and admitted he had put his teammates' safety in jeopardy.

“I want to publicly apologize for my actions this past Sunday,” Haskins wrote on Twitter, before making his account private. “I spoke with Coach [Ron] Rivera yesterday and took full accountability for putting the team at risk."

"It was irresponsible and immature of me and I accept responsibility for my action," he added. "I also want to apologize for creating a distraction for my team during our playoff push. I will learn and grow from this and do what’s best for the team moving forward."

The team did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

According to ESPN reporter John Keim, Washington is handling the matter internally. Haskins had been fined earlier in the season for violating coronavirus safety guidelines when he invited a friend to the team hotel before a game, Keim said. He was fined $4,833 for the incident.

“Going to a nightclub without PPE is considered ‘High Risk COVID-19 Conduct,’ punishable by a maximum fine of one week’s salary or up to four-game suspension,” NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero said of the situation.

Rivera had recently spoken about how well the team has handled operations during the pandemic before the pictures of Haskins surfaced.

"Where we are right now this late into the season, everything has gone so well," he said, according to ESPN. "Let's continue to focus in on staying clear of everything and staying healthy. Hopefully, we can maintain that and continue. We most certainly will talk about it."

The team has not had any player from their active roster placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list so far, the outlet said.

According to a New York Times database, more than 324,000 people have died of coronavirus in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon.

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