Calvin Ridley, who left the Falcons last season to focus on his mental health, has been suspended indefinitely — at least for the 2022 season — for betting on NFL games while not with the Falcons was.
According to the NFL, the star wide receiver placed bets during a five-day period in November when he was away from team facilities.
“I’ll bet you 1500 total that I don’t have a gambling problem,” Ridley wrote on Twitter shortly after the news broke. “I couldn’t even watch football back then.
“Just be healthier when I come back.”
NFL Network reports Ridley bet on Falcons games as well as other sports. According to ESPN, he placed several parlay bets, including picking the Falcons to win, by using his cell phone while out of state.
The league says no inside information was used to place the bets.
“There is nothing more fundamental to the success of the NFL — and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league — than maintaining the integrity of the game,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to Ridley to inform him of the suspension. “This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, match official and everyone else employed in the league. Your actions compromised the integrity of the game, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputation of your fellow players throughout the NFL.
“For decades, gambling in NFL games has been recognized as one of the most serious violations of league policy, warranting the most severe penalties. In your case, I recognize and commend you for promptly coming forward for an interview and admitting your actions.”
Ridley has three days to challenge the ban, failing which he will be eligible for reinstatement in February 2023.
“We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on February 9,” the Falons said in a statement. “We have fully cooperated with the investigation since receiving notification and support the league’s findings and actions. With the decision made, we move into the 2022 season. With the decision made by the NFL, any further questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the league office.”
The 27-year-old had 31 receptions and two touchdowns in five games before leaving the team last season.
“I need to retire from football at this point and focus on my mental well-being,” Ridley said in a statement announcing what he believed would be a short-term concern. “It will help me to be the best version of myself now and in the future.”
Ridley, a former first-round pick from Alabama, received his $11.116 million fifth-year option from the team last spring. He became a hot name in the trade market rumor mill as Jets and Patriots were among the teams associated with him.
Per ESPN, though the Falcons knew punitive action was coming and refused to engage in serious talks.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/07/nfl-suspends-falcons-calvin-ridley-for-betting-on-games/ Falcons’ Calvin Ridley suspended for betting on games