Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has gotten himself into hot water – suspended for at least the entirety of the 2022 NFL season – after getting caught betting on games.
The betting occurred when Ridley was on leave from play, addressing some mental health concerns: during a five-day period in November, he was placed on a non-football illness list.
Ridley defended his actions on Twitter, insisting that he was in no way involved with the outcome of any games during the time he placed bets.
He tweeted the following: “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem. I couldn’t even watch football at that point. Just gone be more healthy when I come back... If you know me you know my character.”
League Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the Falcons management, remains unmoved. The team, which fully cooperated with the investigation, made the following comments: “We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on February 9. We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice, and support the league’s findings and actions.”
Goodell himself issued a statement of his own with the announcement of suspension: “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 now has two choices before him if he wants to continue playing in the NFL: he can apply for reinstatement after February 15, 2023, or he can appeal the decision right now.