Ten days ago, WWE instituted a face mask policy that would result in a $500 fine for non-compliance, and a $1000 fine for a second offense.
Journalist Pat Laprade stated on Les anti-pods de la Lutte that prior to the policy being enacted, Kevin Owens had gone to Vince McMahon to express concern about the lack of mask-wearing, as well as the lack of other social distancing measures, at the PC.
Owens had previously sat out of the June 17 tapings following a positive COVID test within the company. He returned for the July 3 tapings.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Owens confirmed that he talked with management about his concerns.
"It’s been brought up—at first, the masks weren’t being taken seriously enough," said Owens. "Eventually, a fine system was implemented to make sure people took it seriously. That came from me. I thought that the masks weren’t being worn seriously enough, so I went and talked to the people in charge. They immediately did what they could to remedy the situation.
"I don’t blame anybody for the mask thing. It’s easy to forget how important those masks are. Some people just straight up believe that the masks don’t make a difference, and that’s their belief. But if we’re all going to work together and we’re all trying to keep each other safe, I think it matters. If you’ve had somebody in your family affected by this the way my family was, it’s a lot easier to remember that these masks make a huge difference. These masks do make a difference, and I felt it was important for people to take that seriously."
He adds, "I was pleased that the company felt the same way and made sure to get the message out to everybody that this is a big deal. That’s why, in the end, I decided to come back. I feel comfortable going back to work, and I feel as safe as I can be there."