Atlanta Falcons' Calvin Ridley suspended for sports betting
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's gambling policy, the team confirmed on Monday.
Why it matters: Ridley is only the fifth NFL player to be suspended for gambling since the 1960s.
Driving the news: The NFL stated that Ridley placed bets on NFL games during a five day period in November when he was formally away from the team, on a non-football illness list.
On Twitter, Ridley stated that he "bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem."
- "I couldn't even watch football at that point," he added.
The big picture: Ridley's suspension will last at least through the 2022 season, and he will be eligible to apply for reinstatement starting on Feb. 15, 2023.
- The NFL noted that its investigation did not find evidence that any games had been compromised by Ridley's betting, or that any team members, coaches, or staff were aware of his actions.
- The Falcons said they became aware of the NFL's investigation into Ridley on Feb. 9.
- Ridley stepped away from the team at the end of Oct. 2021, to "work on his mental wellbeing," according to the Falcons press release.
What they're saying: "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, notifying him of his suspension.
- "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," he added.
- "We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice and support the league's findings and actions. We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made," the Falcons said in a statement.