Calvin Ridley, the wide receiver for Atlanta Falcons is suspended through at least the 2022 season, the National Football League (NFL) announced Monday.
NFL Imposes Suspension for Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley
The League revealed that it decided to suspend Ridley after uncovering that he placed wagers on NFL games. Although the suspension is deemed “indefinitely,” Ridley may only miss the 2022 season. According to the NFL, he will be eligible to petition for reinstatement no earlier than February 15, 2023.
Ridley’s team outlined in a statement that they became aware of the NFL investigation back in February. The Atlanta Falcons revealed that they cooperated with the investigation and are now “moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made.” The team refrained from any further questions regarding the investigation and said that those can be directed to the League office.
The 27-year-old wide receiver’s future with the Falcons was already unclear. After only playing five games with the team, Ridley decided to step away from football last year. Back then, he justified his decision saying he wanted to focus on his mental wellbeing.
The Wide Receiver Placed Bets Back in November 2021
In a series of recent Tweets, Ridley admitted to betting a total of $1,500. However, the wide receiver said that he doesn’t suffer from problem gambling. Additionally, Ridley outlined that he “couldn’t even watch football at this point” and said that he will be healthier when he comes back. Acknowledging that he made a mistake, Ridley also shared: “I know I was wrong But I’m getting 1 year lol.”
Citing its investigation, the NFL said Ridley placed bets back in late November 2021. That happened when the wide receiver was already away from the Falcons and on “the non-football illness list.” According to the investigation, no inside information was used when the bets were placed. Besides the bets placed by Ridley, the investigation didn’t find evidence regarding the involvement of other individuals such as other NFL players, coaches or staff.
The Integrity of the Game Is Fundamental for the NFL
The NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, sent a letter to Ridley to notify him about the suspension. The commissioner pointed out that the integrity of the game is paramount for the reputation and success of the NFL. Moreover, Goodell said that upholding the integrity of the game is a responsibility for everyone employed by the League, regardless if player, coach, owner or game official.
“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.”Roger Goodell, commissioner at the NFL
Goodell outlined that Ridley’s actions “put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football.” Additionally, he explained that by betting, the wide receiver potentially undermined the reputations of his fellow players within the NFL. In conclusion, Goodell commended Ridley for admitting his actions and reporting for an interview regarding the issue.