NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today suspended Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons indefinitely through at least the conclusion of the 2022 season for betting on NFL games in the 2021 season. According to the NFL’s investigation, the activity took place during a five-day period in late November 2021 while Ridley was not with the team and was away from the club’s facility on the non-football illness list.
A league investigation uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way. Nor was there evidence suggesting any awareness by coaches, staff, teammates, or other players of his betting activity.
In a letter to Ridley notifying him of his suspension, Commissioner Goodell wrote:
“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. 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.”
Ridley responded by tweeting he’d bet “$1500 that he doesn’t have a gambling problem.”
Meanwhile, Commissioner Goodell said gambling on NFL games is something The Shield would not tolerate. He also congratulated Ridley for being honest.
“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.”
Ridley was in Florida, and used the only gambling app legal in the state. The app notified a compliance company the NFL has hired called Genius to investigate such matters.
According to a statement by the league office, Ridley may petition for reinstatement on or after February 15, 2023. Moreover, he may appeal his suspension by filing notice within three days, according to the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.