NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Monday in a news release that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for the 2022 NFL season for betting on games. The release stated that the 27-year-old Ridley bet on games during the 2021 season. Ridley can appeal the suspension within three days, and can petition for reinstatement Feb. 15, 2023. Ridley tweeted Monday afternoon that he wagered a total of $1,500 and doesn’t “have a gambling problem. Just gone be more healthy when I come back.”
The league said Ridley’s betting activity took place during a five-day period in late November, while he was away from the Falcons and team facilities. Ridley appeared in five games last season, before stepping away from football in November to address his mental health. The NFL said it “uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way.”
Goodell wrote: “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. 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.” Goodell also commended Ridley for reporting for an interview and admitting his actions.
The Atlanta Falcons said in a 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. 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 joined the Falcons in 2018. He totaled 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine scores in 15 games in 2020, and totaled 31 catches for 281 yards and two scores to start his 2021 campaign. Ridley was set to make $11.1 million in base salary in 2022, but that will now carry over into the 2023 campaign.
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