Report: Suspended NFL Player Josh Shaw Bet Against His Own Team in Las Vegas

Report: Suspended NFL Player Josh Shaw Bet Against His Own Team in Las Vegas article feature image

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Shaw

The NFL still isn’t commenting on the specific bets Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw made to warrant his suspension through at least the 2020 season, but a report Monday afternoon said that not only did Shaw bet on games involving his own team — he bet against them.

ESPN’s David Purdum reported that when Shaw went to Las Vegas with his buddies to Vegas, he placed a three-team parlay on Nov. 10, which included a bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cover the second-half spread of -1.

The Bucs’ opponent on that day? The Arizona Cardinals, Shaw’s employer.

Shaw didn’t win his bet — the Buccaneers lost the second half by a point — and 19 days later, he’d be suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s rules, which prohibit any league employees from betting on the sport.

Purdum reported that Caesars, the NFL’s official gaming partner, told both the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the league about the wager.

Shaw wrote “professional football player” on the application for a players card and used it to make the bet. The NFL’s Ian Rapoport reported that Shaw placed his first bets on sports “based on a misinterpreted understanding of the Supreme Court ruling.”

That Supreme Court ruling overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, allowing states to make their own decisions as to whether they want to legalize gambling. While betting is now legal in 19 states, the court’s ruling has nothing to do with the NFL, which has banned gambling by its players in practice since 1963 when Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were forced to sit out a year after betting on the NFL, though neither bet against their respective teams, the Packers and Lions.

Baltimore Colts quarterback Art Schlichter and John Stark, a Baltimore Ravens draft pick, were also suspended for betting on NFL games in 1983 and 1996, respectively. Neither bet against their own teams.

While the NFL once again declined to comment on the specifics, the league did say with its announcement on Friday that it didn’t believe that Shaw, who is has been on the team’s injured reserve since the summer, had any inside information on the game.

That was immaterial to the suspension, which will span through at least the 2020 season, because betting is prohibited in any manner.

Sources told The Action Network on Friday that top team executives who are usually briefed on big league happenings were not brought into the loop with this betting ban. ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported that even the Cardinals were shocked when the announcement was made, not aware an investigation was ever taking place.

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