The National Football League (NFL) has announced the suspension of five players for violating the league’s gambling policy. The policy prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any type of gambling on league premises, including practice facilities. However, the league’s investigation uncovered no evidence of the use of inside information, and no games were affected by the gambling.
Three players, Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore of the Detroit Lions, and Shaka Toney of the Washington Commanders, have been suspended indefinitely, at least until the end of the 2023 season, for betting on NFL games last season. These players will be able to petition for reinstatement at the end of the season.
Two other Detroit Lions players, Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams, have been suspended from playing in the first six regular season games but can still participate in preseason and offseason activities.
NFL Cracks Down on Sports Betting Advertising
The NFL’s crackdown on gambling comes as legal betting markets have been launched in 33 states, including Michigan, and Washington, D.C., since a landmark 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision. The league has been working to regulate sports-betting advertising as it floods television, internet, and print media.
The Detroit Lions have already released Cephus and Moore following the announcement of their suspensions, which the team became aware of approximately a month ago. The Lions’ executive vice president and general manager, Brad Holmes, expressed disappointment in the players’ decisions and said the team would work with them to ensure they understand the severity of their violations and have clarity on league rules moving forward.
Meanwhile, the Washington Commanders said they support the NFL’s findings and actions regarding Toney’s suspension. The Commanders have been in the spotlight for several reasons recently, including a settlement of $625,000 paid to fans for failing to return ticket deposits. The team has been accused of pocketing the money since 1996, which they deny. They say they have not collected security deposits for over a decade and have been working since 2014 to return any remaining deposits.
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