Falcons WR Calvin Ridley suspended through at least 2022 season for betting on NFL games
from Zac Wassink, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said last month he would “love” for star wide receiver Calvin Ridley to stay with the team after the 27-year-old stepped away from the club and from playing on Halloween to address his mental health.
Ridley didn’t play again through the second half of the 2021 season, and his story took an unexpected turn Monday afternoon when the NFL announced he has been suspended through at least the entire 2022 campaign for betting on league games this past fall.
“The activity took place during a five-day period in late November 2021 while Ridley was away from the team and away from the club’s facility on the non-football illness list,” the league’s website explained.
So how did Calvin Ridley get busted? He was in Florida, and used the only gambling app legal in the state. The app notified a compliance company the NFL has hired called Genius for this kind of thing.
That he was out of state was a factor in Ridley's activity being flagged.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 7, 2022
“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 said in a letter sent to Ridley. “This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, 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 undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL.
“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.”
Per Scott Bair of the Falcons’ website, Ridley’s employer addressed the news Monday afternoon.
“We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9,” the Falcons said. “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.”
As of the first Monday of March, Ridley can appeal the suspension but currently cannot apply for reinstatement until Feb. 15, 2023. ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds the Falcons fielded calls about Ridley’s availability “in recent weeks” but refused to enter into trade talks because they knew about his alleged issues.
Calvin Ridley said:
I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) March 7, 2022