Calvin Ridley, the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver, has just been caught betting on NFL games last year; as a result, the NFL suspended him for a minimum of the entire 2022 season.
It was one of the harshest punishments a major American sports league has handed out after the NFL rushed to embrace the growth of legalized wagering on games in the early 2000s.
Ridley, 27, made bets on NFL games over a five-day stretch in November of 2021 since he was away from the team to work on his mental health, according to Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement released on Monday.
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
Goodell Speaks Out
“There was no indication any inside knowledge was exploited or any games were compromised in any manner,” league commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement after the probe.
“There was also no evidence to indicate that any of his teammates, coaches, or other players were aware of his betting activities,” the report states.
Nonetheless, Goodell declared the “integrity of the game” is critical to the league’s success, and Ridley’s actions put that integrity in jeopardy.
From November 23rd-28th, Ridley was using the Hard Rock betting mobile app to make three parlay bets during his stay in Florida, per a source having knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because the information was confidential.
The National Football League was notified by Genius Sports, who analyzes sports gambling information for the league, that a player could be behind the wagers.
The National Football League’s inquiry discovered that Ridley’s wagers included a bet on Atlanta to win the Super Bowl.
Calvin Ridley posted this after the NFL suspended him for betting on games pic.twitter.com/pSwjgdijVf
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 7, 2022
Soon after the National Football League issued the penalty, Ridley said on Twitter: “I bet $1,500 total that I don’t have a gambling problem,” later clarifying he couldn’t watch football at that moment because of the suspension.
“I realize I was wrong, but I’m only getting one year,” he said on Facebook.
Ridley’s Health Problems
Due to a major mental health problem, Ridley revealed on October 31, 2021, he’d been stepping down from his position with the squad.
‘These last few months have been very tough. As much as I’d want to be out on the field battling with my team, I need to take a step back and concentrate on my psychological well-being at this time,’ Ridley wrote in a statement shared to his social media platforms.
Ridley, a four-year member of the National Football League, had his greatest season in 2020, hauling in 90 catches for 1,374 yards.
He only appeared in five games during the previous season. Last March, the club decided to execute its fifth-year offer for the 2022 season.
Falcons general manager Arthur Blank stated in a message they heard of the league’s inquiry on February 9 and they “support the league’s findings and actions.”