Frank Reich Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has recently begun cracking down on violators of its league-wide gambling policy, slapping several players with six-game suspensions for betting on non-NFL sporting events while on team property. 

Recently, an anonymous NFL player told The Athletic that “any one of us” could have been given a six-game suspension given how little education the players were given and how widespread sports gambling is throughout the league.

As Pro Football Talk notes, in less than two years, the league’s crackdown on gambling violations has led to six player suspensions, the suspension of a coach and at least two more pending investigations. 

And with that, the players and coaches understand that they have a responsibility to uphold what the league and people like Panthers coach Frank Reich have deemed as “the integrity of the game,” regardless of whether they agree with the NFL’s policy on gambling.

The Carolina Panthers head coach weighed in on the league’s gambling policy following his team’s Final OTA workouts. Here’s what he had to say via Mike Kaye of The Charlotte Observer:

“It’s a big deal,” Reich said. “Obviously, we fully support and agree with everything the league is doing in this area. It’s something to be taken very serious. So, you approach the education process through multiple efforts, a lot of it—we have a great support staff—and then the league sends in people to do training, more formal things. But then there’s a lot of informal discussion with our development people. And it’s an ongoing process, right? This is a new issue, players and coaches—we all need to continue how important this is for the integrity of our game and fully support what the league is doing.”

It remains to be seen how this will continue to affect the league. One thing for certain is that Reich is on the same side of the aisle of the NFL here and wants to see the integrity of the game held up. We’ll have to see if players agree, as the anonymous player in The Athletic piece suggested that sports gambling is truly widespread across the league.

Perhaps it’s safe to say that there could be more players hit with suspensions before the start of the 2023 NFL season. Though, it would be surprising if any of them play for Reich.

[The Athletic, The Charlotte Observer]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.