The NFL announced that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for one year for the 2022 season for betting on NFL games.
According to reports, Ridley was suspended until at least the end of the 2022 season. According to the league, Ridley is eligible to apply for reinstatement on Feb. 13, 2023.
In addition, according to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, Ridley has three days to appeal his suspension.
Calvin Ridley tweeted this after the NFL announced he would be suspended for the 2022 NFL season for gambling on games during the 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/6Vsr5GOfke
— ESPN (@espn) March 7, 2022
The NFL contends that in November 2021, during five days, Ridley made bets while on the “non-football illness list.” According to reports, Ridley executed three parlay bets on the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app while he was in Florida.
Ironically, he played in only five games in 2021. According to reports, Ridley left the team to focus on his “mental well-being.”
I wonder if Calvin Ridley has A List of other players who also doing the same thing #NFL
— The Hustle (@CorleoneBucco) March 8, 2022
The NFL Speaks
“There is nothing more fundamental to the NFL’s success, and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league, than upholding the integrity of the game,” wrote NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter to notify Ridley of the suspension, according to reports.
“This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, and anyone else employed in the league. Your actions put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL.
“For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions.”
This whole Calvin Ridley situation doesn’t sit well with me. Not excusing what he did at all but considering how the league has fully embraced sports gambling & these owners owning or partnering with these sportsbooks….man
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) March 8, 2022
The Falcons’ Statement
However, the league also stated that no information was used or any NFL game compromised by Ridley’s actions. In addition, the investigation uncovered that there were no collaborators from the players or coaching staff that even knew Ridley was betting.
The Atlanta Falcons claim to have known of the investigation since early last month.
“We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made,” the team said in a statement. “With the decision that was made by the NFL, any further questions on the investigation should be directed to the league office.”
I don’t think Calvin Ridley was throwing games while on the field at all, but this video is VERY damning 😳pic.twitter.com/5TUUwKMqY6
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) March 7, 2022
A Bettor’s Twitter Fingers
Ridley took to Twitter quickly to give his side of the story, which was an admission of placing a $1500 bet.
“I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem,” Ridley tweeted.
He followed that up with a succession of tweets to explain his reasoning and provide a glimpse into his introspection process.
“I couldn’t even watch football at that point.”
“Just gone be more healthy when I come back.”
“I know I was wrong But I’m getting 1 year lol.”
“I learn from my Ls.”
Calvin Ridley isn’t the only NFL player to bet on games
He’s just currently the only one that has been caught
— JPA Football (@jpafootball) March 7, 2022
The Dichotomy Of It All
Ridley was a first-round pick in 2018 from the University of Alabama after leaving the team as a junior. According to the University of Alabama, Ridley finished second in receptions in the school’s history with 224 and receiving touchdowns with 19.
Calvin Ridley getting suspended a year for betting on games but they literally tried to pay Brian Flores to tank on his team season but the NFL want to talk about integrity. Stop it!
— Charles James II (@CJDeuce_) March 7, 2022
With sports gambling fully accepted by the league and an NFL franchise now hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada, gambling no longer has a taboo over it.
When you couple that with Brian Flores alleging the Miami Dolphins owner attempted to compensate him to tank games, there is the appearance of a skewed sense of punishment in the NFL.
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