The NFL made a strong statement in regards to their stance on sports betting Monday, March 7.
The league announced that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley would be suspended indefinitely and for a minimum of one full season for placing three bets on NFL games through a mobile betting app last November.
Ridley, 27, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He stepped away from football last Halloween saying that he needed to get his personal life in order. The NFL released a statement saying that Ridley gambled on games over a five-day period in November 2021 when he was on the non-football injury list to address his mental health. The NFL found out about Ridley’s betting activity through its relationship within the legal sports betting industry. They concluded that Ridley placed multilegged parlay bets involving three, five and eight games that included the Falcons to win from his mobile device out of state.
There was no evidence uncovered that showed that Ridley used inside information or that any game was compromised in any way. There also wasn’t any information found that showed Falcons coaches, staff, or players being privy to his betting activity.
Along with the season-long suspension, Ridley forfeits his $11.1 million salary for next year. Sports fans quickly took to social media to react to the news.
While some made jokes about the situation, others questioned the NFL for a number of reasons. The first had to do with the severity of the suspension. A lot of people questioned if a year-long suspension was warranted, especially in comparison to some of the other violations we’ve seen players commit (domestic abuse, PEDs, etc) and their penalties. Others noted that NFL actually made this bed in part because the league has fully embraced sports gambling. There are owners in the league who own and partner with sportsbooks.
How do you feel about Calvin Ridley’s suspension? Is the NFL trying to make an example out of him? Be sure to let us know in the comments.