Calvin Ridley Suspended by NFL for at Least Through 2022 Season Over Gambling on Games
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for at least the 2022 season after betting on games during the 2021 campaign.
Image via Getty/Michael Reaves
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for at least the 2022 season after betting on NFL games last year.
The NFL announced the news on Monday, revealing that Ridley, 26, bet on games during a five-day stretch in late November while he was away from the team due to personal reasons. The earliest Ridley can apply for reinstatement is Feb. 15, 2023.
“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,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. “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.”
The letter continued, “For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction,” the league continued in the letter. “In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions.”
Per Adam Schefter, the NFL determined that Ridley “placed multi-legged parlay bets involving 3, 5 and 8 games that included the Falcons to win. Investigation determined there was no involvement from any team players, coach etc. Placed via his mobile device out of state.”
Shortly after the news was announced, Ridley took to Twitter to address the accusations, claiming he doesn’t “have a gambling problem.”
“I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem,” he wrote. “I couldn’t even watch football at that point. Just gone be healthy when I come back.”
The Falcons also released an official statement.
“We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9. We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions,” the team said. “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.”
Ridley, who Atlanta selected with the No. 26 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, and was a second-team All-Pro in 2020, tallied just 31 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns in 2021. He stepped away from the team on Oct. 31 to work on his mental health.
“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 well being,” Ridley wrote on Twitter at the time. “This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future.”