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NFL suspends five players for gambling policy breaches

NFL football tips

The National Football League suspended five football players on Friday for violating its gambling policy and placing bets on non-NFL games in a league facility.

The suspended players include Detroit Lions safety C.J. Moore, Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus, Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney, and Lions wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill.

Quintez, C.J., and Shaka were handed indefinite suspensions, which could last till the close of the 2023 season, for placing wagers on NFL games last season. These three players will be allowed to file a petition for reinstatement at the close of the 2023 season.

Jameson and Stanley, on the other hand, were suspended for the first six regular season games but will be able to play in the offseason and preseason activities. The suspensions will begin during the final roster cutdown.

The players were found to have placed bets on non-NFL matches on official team grounds. The NFL league policy prohibits anyone in the league from engaging in gambling of any form on league venues, including practice facilities, team planes, stadiums, and team hotels during travels.

In its statement, the NFL stated that its review did not discover evidence that inside information was used during the betting or that the games were compromised.

The Detroit Lions announced that they were releasing Moore and Cephus immediately after the NFL announced the suspensions. The club was made aware of the league’s investigation around a month ago and was disappointed in the actions of their players.

Brad Holmes, Detroit Lions executive Vice President, and general manager said in a statement, “As a result of an NFL investigation, it came to our attention that a few of our players had violated the league’s gambling policy. These players exhibited decision-making that is not consistent with our organizational values and violates league rules.”

“We are disappointed by the decision-making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward.”

Williams, who was the 12th overall pick in the 2022 draft, has been in a total of six games since undergoing knee surgery. His agency, Alliance Sports, released a statement saying that the player felt remorse for his actions.

Alliance Sports pointed out that Williams’ suspension was due to a “technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed – and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility.”

The Washington Commanders also commented on the suspensions, disclosing that they had fully cooperated with the league’s investigation from the start and were in support of its findings and decision.

Prior to Shaka’s suspension, the Washington Commanders were fined $625,000 by the district attorney following allegations that the NFL club failed to refund fans for their ticket deposits.

In 1996 the Commanders allegedly pocketed the money from fan’s tickets security deposits despite promising to return the funds to them. A spokesperson for the club stated that it was “actively working to return any remaining deposits since 2014.”

This is one of the rare gambling cases the NFL has had to face. Calvin Ridley was previously suspended for the entire 2022 season and eventually traded to Jacksonville from Atlanta for placing bets on NFL games. Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw also faced a similar fate in November 2019 for gambling on an NFL game and has since been reinstated.

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