Falcons WR Calvin Ridley suspended for betting on NFL games – Reuters

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The NFL announced in a press release Monday that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for at least the entire 2022 NFL season for betting on NFL games during the 2021 campaign.

Ridley played five games for the Falcons last season, catching 31 passes for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Falcons put him on the non-football illness list in early November so he could work on his mental health.

The league said Ridley’s bet took place during a five-day period in late November when he was on the non-football list and away from the squad. The NFL investigation found “no evidence to indicate that inside information was used or that a game was compromised in any way.” There was also no evidence that coaches, staff, teammates or other Falcons players knew of Ridley’s betting activity.

Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to Ridley in the NFL statement: “For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered one of the most significant violations of league policy warranting the heaviest sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for promptly reporting an interview, and for admitting your actions.”

Multiple reports on Monday noted that a league source said Ridley placed three-, five-, and eight-game parlays at the Hard Rock Sportsbook in Florida, between Nov. 23 and Nov. 28, 2021, which included the Falcons at to earn. Bets were placed on Ridley’s mobile device. The Hard Rock app was legal and operational in Florida from November 1 to mid-December 2021, before a lawsuit forced the app to stop taking bets.

This is the second occurrence of an NFL player violating the league’s gambling policy since 2018 and the widespread legalization of sports betting via the Supreme Court ruling. Arizona Cardinals DB Josh Shaw was suspended for the 2020 season in late 2019 after betting on NFL games.

More than 30 US states, including Washington DC and Puerto Rico, now have legal and operational sports betting.

Ridley said in a series of tweets on Monday that he only bet $1,500 in total and had no gambling issues. He is eligible for reinstatement beginning Feb. 16, 2023.

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