Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for the entire 2022 season after it was discovered that he bet on games, the NFL announced Monday.
“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,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to Ridley. “This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game foficial, 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 undermine the reputation of your fellow players throughout the NFL.”
Per the NFL’s investigation, Ridley placed bets toward the end of November when the receiver was away from the team due to a non-football illness.
Ridley placed multi-legged parlay bets involving three, five, and eight games that included betting on his own team to win. The total bet cost $1,500; his Falcons teammates and coaches did not have any involvement.
“I bet $1,500 total,” Ridley tweeted. “I don’t have a gambling problem.”
The Falcons released a statement claiming they were made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9.
“We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made,” the team wrote.
The 27-year-old is the fifth NFL player ever to be suspended for gambling, joining Alex Karras (1963), Paul Hornung (1963), Art Schlichter (1983), and Josh Shaw (2019).
“For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction,” Goodell continued in his letter. “In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions.”