The NFL world was taken by storm on Monday when it was announced that Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Calvin Ridley is being suspended for one year for gambling on NFL games following an NFL investigation into the situation.
Ridley notably missed 11 games for the Falcons last season when he announced that he was stepping away from the sport due to concerns over his mental health. The star receiver reportedly made the bets during a five-day stretch in November while away from the Falcons, involving the team’s outcome in one of his parlay bets.
This shocking news surrounding Ridley came with a telling statement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“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,” said Goodell. “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.”
“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.”
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) March 7, 2022
This statement from Goodell has sparked a whole bunch of conversations on the duration of the suspension for Ridley, and whether or not it is right that he will miss the entire 2022-23 season.
An all-pro player is suspended for a year for using the app that sponsors the Miami Dolphins' stadium, whose owner is accused of paying their former head coach to throw games. The writers this season stepped up
— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) March 7, 2022
Roger Goodell's out here making an example out of Calvin Ridley for betting on football.
While he's doling out discipline, I hope the league also considers hard time for the plethora of domestic violence-related arrests that come through the NFL office annually.
— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) March 7, 2022
Never forget that Roger Goodell watched a video of Ray Rice knocking his gf out cold and initially suspended him 2 games while Calvin Ridley is getting suspended a full season off rip for betting on games he had no involvement or insider info on
— Snacks Curry (Hoops Ev) (@DoubleVodkaDon) March 7, 2022
— Aaron Ladd (@aaronladd0) March 7, 2022
On the surface, it certainly seems like the NFL and Roger Goodell are making an example out of Ridley to the rest of the players that it is not okay for them to be gambling with or without inside knowledge or involvement.
That said, given how little attention or consequences the league seems to assign to far more serious issues like domestic violence, a year-long suspension seems a bit harsh to some.
Obviously gambling on games your team is involved in is wrong, and a suspension should be given out, but the league certainly seems to have their priorities wrong when you compare to other suspensions handed out over the years. Roger Goodell is going to take the brunt of that.