Roger Goodell: ‘If You Bet on the NFL, And You’re Part of the NFL, You’ve Got a Problem’
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who discussed betting on the NFL before Thursday Night Football.
Before the 2023 NFL season kicked off on Thursday with the Kansas City Chiefs facing the Detroit Lions on TNF, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sat down with NBC Sports' Mike Tirico to discuss the Thursday Night Football matchup, international games and legalized sports betting.
The last topic comes with the context that 10 NFL players have been suspended for gambling this offseason. And Goodell said unequivocally that those who are a part of the NFL and choose to bet on the NFL are an issue.
Tirico: "Gambling is an issue that is a constant conversation around the league. At Churchill Downs today, the governor of Kentucky placed the first bet in that state. More states, it's legal. You can do it in some NFL stadiums. Are you comfortable with how the league is reconciling gambling as a business entity, for some of the league right now, and players, 10 of whom were suspended this year for gambling? Are you comfortable with where it sits right now and trying to protect the integrity of the game?"
Goodell: "It's one of the reasons we opposed legalized sports betting, because of the risk to the integrity of the game. So that's always going to be our No. 1 priority. When the Supreme Court overruled that, we have to be in that space. And it has actually helped us with trying to educate our fans, educate our personnel. This isn't just about players. It affects every league employee, every club employee. It's pretty simple. If you bet on the NFL, and you're a part of the NFL, you've got a problem."
"If you bet on the NFL and you're a part of the NFL, you've got a problem. And that's not what we're going to allow to happen." – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodellpic.twitter.com/y7uBtV5lQX
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 7, 2023
It's worth noting that while Goodell said, "If you bet on the NFL," the limitations on sports betting go further than that for those involved with the NFL. Coaches, staff, trainers and other team and league employees are barred from gambling on sports at all. Players, on the other hand, are permitted to wager on other sports and on table games — outside of team facilities.