Falcons wide receiver Ridley suspended until ’23 for bets on NFL games

ATANTA — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for the 2022 season for betting on NFL games during the 2021 season.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the indefinite suspension Monday afternoon, WSB-TV reported.

“The activity took place during a five-day period in late November 2021 while Ridley was not with the team and was away from the club’s facility on the non-football illness list,” the league stated in a news release.

Per the NFL release, the league investigation “uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way.”

The investigation also determined no coaches, staff, teammates or other players were aware of Ridley’s alleged gambling activity.

According to NFL Network, Ridley used his personal phone to place bets and those wagers did involve the Falcons.

In turn, the Falcons issued the following statement:

“We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made. With the decision that was made by the NFL, any further questions on the investigation should be directed to the league office.”

Ridley’s future in Atlanta was already uncertain after he left the franchise for the bulk of the 2021 season to focus on his mental health, the network reported.

In a letter to Ridley notifying him of his suspension, Goodell wrote:

“There is nothing more fundamental to the NFL’s success - and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league - than upholding the integrity of the game. This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, and anyone else employed in the league. Your actions put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL.”

Goodell went on to note in the letter that gambling on NFL games has, for decades, been considered “among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction.”

“In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions,” Goodell wrote to Ridley.

According to WSB-TV, Ridley may petition for reinstatement on or after Feb. 15, 2023. He may also appeal his suspension by filing a notice within three days, pursuant to the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.