Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley was due to make $11 million in 2022. He’ll lose all of it (or at least wait a minimum of a year to earn it) over $1,500.
The NFL has suspended Ridley for at least a year for betting on football.
On Twitter, Ridley acknowledged that he bet $1,500. He made the admission to prove that, as he put it, he doesn’t have a gambling problem.
He may not think he has a gambling problem, but he currently has a major problem from his gambling. The rules don’t allow players to gamble responsibly. The rules prohibit it altogether.
And, yes, it’s odd. It’s unfair. It’s a double standard. The league is currently making millions from its seven gambling partnerships, pushing to consumers something its players cannot consume.
But those are the rules. Even if it’s no different than the league having an official steroids sponsor. Or an official marijuana sponsor. We’ll profit from persuading people to make these purchases, but don’t you think about letting the advertising work on you personally.
As mentioned earlier, it appears Ridley was foolish enough to make the bets on his own phone. How aggressive will the league be to find evidence of gambling that falls beyond the most simple, clear, and open-and-shut cases they find.