Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended by the NFL for at least the 2022 football season for betting on games in 2021. The league issued a statement on Monday (March 7) confirming the news and explaining the gambling took place during a five-day period in late November 2021 while Ridley was not with the team and was on the non-football illness list.
“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. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
An investigation revealed no evidence indicating any inside information was used during his sports betting, or that any game was compromised in any way. Additionally, no evidence was found suggesting any awareness of Ridley’s betting activity on the part of coaches, staff, teammates, or other players.
“We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9. We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions,” the Atlanta Falcons expressed in a statement according to ESPN. “We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made. With the decision that was made by the NFL, any further questions on the investigation should be directed to the league office.”
I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) March 7, 2022
Ridley himself spoke to the suspension on Twitter, sharing his side of the story. “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem,” he wrote in one tweet, and explained, “I couldn’t even watch football at that point,” in a follow-up.
Ridley may petition for reinstatement on or after February 15, 2023, and he can appeal the decision within three days.