NFL Player Receives Suspension for Betting on Games

John Shaw, a defensive back who plays for the Arizona Cardinals has received an indefinite suspension for betting on a number of NFL games during the current season.

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Shaw, who has not played this season as he has been sidelined with a shoulder injury was found to have placed bets on multiple games so far this year. Shaw had specifically gone to Las Vegas to make the bets as it is not currently legal to do so in Arizona.

His suspension is indefinite and is guaranteed to last until the end of the 2020 season. He can apply to be reinstated in February 2021, although this is not definite. He is the first player to be suspended due to gambling since 1996. Perhaps this is an offshoot of the increasing number of states that a legalising gambling. It would not be a surprise if in coming years more and more players succumb to the temptation of placing a bet.

The player’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that NFL rules and regulations forbid coaches, players, or any other personnel are not allowed to place wagers involving any league games. This is in line with most major leagues and sports around the world and is there to protect the integrity of the sport. The Commissioner went on record and said;

The continued success of the NFL depends directly on each of us doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game and the reputations of all who participate in the league. Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner

The saving grace for Shaw is that the NFL found evidence he bet on multiple games, however, they found no information to suggest he had insider knowledge or influenced the outcomes of any games to any degree, thus keeping the integrity intact. What’s more, there was no evidence that any of his teammates or coaches knew he was involved in the practice.

Future Challenges for the NFL

This is surely a challenge for the future. With sports betting becoming increasingly legalised in the country, more and more online bookies will arise, thus the ease at which players’ can access such apparatus could be increased. It would not be surprising if more and more cases happened.

It is now up to the NFL to educate and inform players on the challenges and risks posed by the gambling industry in order to prevent any future cases of this happening.

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