Calvin Ridley Suspended At Least One Year for Betting NFL Parlays During Season
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Calvin Ridley
Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Calvin Ridley will miss at least the entire 2022 NFL season after he was found to have bet on games during the 2021 season.
Ridley, who played in only five games in 2021, bet on NFL games in late November while he was away from the team.
“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,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement given to Ridley and released by the NFL.
“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.”
Goodell called gambling on NFL games “among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial action.”
According to the release, Ridley admitted his actions in an interview with the league and participated promptly.
The Falcons said they became aware of the investigation on Feb. 9. NFL Network reported Ridley was found placing parlays using his cell phone. NFL Network also reported Ridley’s bets included his own team. ESPN added Ridley’s bets were 3-, 5- and 8-game parlays that included the Falcons to win.
According to multiple reports, the bets took place in Florida on the Hard Rock Sportsbook. The sportsbook notified ‘Genius’, the data provider and compliance company that works with the NFL to identify these instances. Hard Rock was live taking bets in Florida from Nov. 1 to Nov. 22. Florida is no longer taking sports bets after a federal judge ruled its the state’s compact with the Seminole tribe was unconstitutional.
This comes on the heels of a report from Sportradar that more fixed matches were discovered in 2021 than ever before.
However, the NFL said in a statement that there was no evidence indicating inside information.
I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) March 7, 2022
Ridley can appeal his suspension, but if the suspension holds he cannot apply for reinstatement until Feb. 15, 2023.
Ridley was set to enter his fifth year in the NFL and was due $11.1 million in 2022. He spent most of 2021 away from the team and was placed on the non-football related injured reserve.
This came after a monster 2020 season when he caught 90 balls for 1,374 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was expected to fill the No. 1 receiver role after the trade of Julio Jones to the Titans.
It’s not the first time NFL players have been suspended for gambling.
In 2019, the NFL suspended Josh Shaw of the Arizona Cardinals for a year for betting on games. Shaw didn’t get signed for the 2021 season.
In 1963, the NFL suspended Packers running back Paul Hornung and Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras for a year for betting on games.
In 1983, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Art Schlichter was suspended for 13 months by the league following a gambling fallout.