Legalized sports gambling has taken off across the United States after a landmark Supreme Court decision struck down an earlier law that prohibited states from authorizing legal sports betting.
It has left major sports leagues figuring out how to manage the new landscape, and a big concern has been protecting the integrity of the game.
The NFL has been steadfastly against legalized sports betting, and it has been cracking down on players who have allegedly been involved in the practice.
NFL insider Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that several players are set to be suspended for the entire 2023 season as a result.
A handful of NFL players, including Colts’ cornerback and kick returner Isaiah Rodgers, are expected to receive season-long suspensions this week for allegedly gambling, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/7hPaqJOQlN
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 28, 2023
Last season, Calvin Ridley, a standout wide receiver, was suspended for the entire schedule for allegedly betting on games, including those involving the Atlanta Falcons, the team he played for at the time (he has since been traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars).
The NFL has clarified its rules regarding players and other team employees engaging in gambling, and it has prohibited them from betting on any NFL games and gambling while at team facilities or traveling with their squad.
The main concern seems to be protecting the integrity of the game and preventing any conflict of interest from having any impact on the outcomes of games.
Older sports fans will remember when Major League Baseball legend Pete Rose was banned from the league in the late 1980s after it was revealed that he had bet on games involving his Cincinnati Reds.
Perhaps the NFL wants to prevent something similar from happening again.NEXT: PFF Honors Andy Reid With A Notable Ranking