Falcons Player Suspended for Betting on NFL Games

Calvin Ridley defends himself on Twitter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 8, 2022 3:00 AM CST
Calvin Ridley Suspended for Betting on NFL Games
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) makes a catch during the team's NFL training camp football practice Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, in Flowery Branch, Ga.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

For endangering the integrity of the sport by betting on games, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended by the NFL for at least the next season, the AP reports. Ridley won’t play in 2022 and there is no guarantee for the NFL future of the player who had been expected to be the Falcons’ top target for quarterback Matt Ryan. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday suspended Ridley after a league investigation determined Ridley bet on NFL games in 2021 while away from the team addressing mental health concerns. The league says the suspension will carry “through at least the conclusion of the 2022 season.” Ridley may petition for reinstatement after Feb. 23, 2023.

The NFL says the betting took place during a five-day period in late November 2021. Ridley was placed on the non-football illness list following Week 8 last season, which ended Nov. 1. Ridley wrote on his Twitter account on Monday “I bet 1500 total I don't have a gambling problem.” He also seemed to take a light-hearted approach to his suspension when he added in another post “I know I was wrong But I'm getting 1 year lol.” He also said “Just gone be more healthy when I come back.” Ridley defended himself in another tweet when he said “If you know me you know my character.”

A league investigation uncovered no evidence inside information was used or that any game was compromised by Ridley’s betting, Goodell's announcement said. Nor was there evidence suggesting Falcons coaches, players or staff were aware of Ridley’s betting activity. “We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9,” the Falcons said in a statement. "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. With the decision that was made by the NFL, any further questions on the investigation should be directed to the league office.” (More Atlanta Falcons stories.)

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