Legalized sports betting has taken off in 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 handle the new landscape, and a big concern has been protecting the integrity of the game.
The NFL has been strongly against legalized sports betting and has been cracking down on players who have allegedly been involved in the practice.
NFL pundit Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that several players will 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 told 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 who participate in gambling, prohibiting them from betting on any NFL game and from gambling while on team premises 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 results of the games.
Older sports fans will remember when Major League Baseball legend Pete Rose was kicked out of the league in the late 1980s after it was revealed that he had bet on games involving the Cincinnati Reds.
Perhaps the NFL wants to prevent something similar from happening again.
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