Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended indefinitely for gambling on NFL games during the 2021 season, the league announced Monday.
It was shocking news that still has the sports world completely reeling.
In a letter to Ridley notifying him of his suspension, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, “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.”
New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan expressed surprise at the league suspending Ridley a full year for wagering on his team to emerge victorious.
“I get it but sheesh… how much was the bet I don’t even know what a multi legged parlay means,” Jordan wrote. “How much he was gon win? If he out a yr is he allowed to bet now!?”
What stopped it from being even worse for Ridley is the NFL’s investigation found no evidence that any game was compromised in any way by Ridley’s actions.
After the NFL announced Ridley’s suspension, the former Alabama standout tweeted, “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem.”
A few weeks prior to his gamble, Ridley announced he was stepping away from the Falcons for personal reasons.
At the time, Ridley wrote, “These past few weeks have been very challenging and as much as I’d like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing. This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future. I want to thank my teammates, the entire Atlanta Falcons organization, our great fans, my friends, and my family for all of their support during this time.”
Ridley won two national championships during his time at the University of Alabama and was a first-round draft pick for the Falcons in 2018.