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NFL Suspends Calvin Ridley for Betting on Games During 2021 Season

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The NFL has suspended Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for “at least” the 2022 season for betting on NFL games during the ’21 season. In a letter to Ridley, commissioner Roger Goodell said Ridley’s actions put the “integrity of the game at risk.”

“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,” Goodell wrote. “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 stepped away from the team in late October to focus on his mental well-being. The league said the gambling took place during a five-day period in late November while Ridley was not with the Falcons.

The league said an NFL-led investigation showed no evidence indicating that any inside information had any impact on games. No coaches, players or staff had any awareness of Ridley’s actions, per the NFL.

In a series of tweets issued after the league announced his punishment, Ridley offered some context for the situation, claiming he doesn’t have a gambling problem and spent a total of $1,500 when he did bet on games. Ridley, 27, also said he “couldn’t even watch football” at the time that he placed his bets. 

The wide receiver did his best to put a positive spin on his suspension, saying that the extra year away would allow him to be healthier once he is eligible to return. He did admit, however, that betting on games as a player was “wrong.”

In a statement, the Falcons said they were made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9 and have fully cooperated with it. Riley is eligible to apply for reinstatement on Feb. 15, 2023.

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