Sports Betting Expert Takes Deep Look At Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley’s Suspension
Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley knew the policy when he placed the bets
B&T: What steps is the league taking to crack down on gambling?
Smiley: More or less, the same as it’s always done. For athletes and young men, gambling is not new. Probably a majority of them gamble or something. There’s lots of card games when teams travel and players often will head to Las Vegas to unwind during a Bye Week. The only thing that’s changed is the legality of sports wagering, for non-NFL players aged 21 and up, in about 30 stats and growing.
League and team compliance and security people make it very clear to rookies and veterans the day they step into the facility that you cannot bet on NFL games. NBA, Mach Madness games, cricket, World Cup, that’s all good. And many players have legal apps on their phones. There’s only so much you can do before the team/league is entirely violating a player’s privacy.
We’re now nearly five years post-PASPA [Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act], and there’s not a single known/reported incident of an NFL player throwing a game, and isn’t that the chief concern? I think accountability and common sense is working.
Based on the information Smiley shared, Calvin Ridley was fully aware of the gambling policy, so he (nor anyone) shouldn’t have been surprised he was slapped with a suspension, regardless of how much money he bet.