Five NFL players have been suspended for sports betting. Among them is Washington Commanders Defensive End Shaka Toney. Toney’s suspension is indefinite, and he can apply to be reinstated into the league after a year.
Five players suspended for violating NFL rules
In total, five players — four of them on the Detroit Lions — were suspended:
- Lions WR Jameson Williams: six games
- Lions WR Stanley Berryhill: six games
- Lions WR Quintez Cephus: indefinite
- Lions Safety C.J. Moore: indefinite
- Commanders DE Shaka Toney: indefinite
Detroit released both Cephus and Moore.
According to ESPN, the NFL investigation did not find any evidence that would hint at insider information being used to place the bets. Additionally, there was no evidence that any NFL games were compromised as a result of the players who were betting.
The Commanders released a statement:
“We have cooperated fully with the NFL’s investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions. All further questions on the topic should be directed to the NFL League Office.”
But why did two players get a six-game slap on the wrist while the others received indefinite suspensions? Their violations were different. Cephus, Moore, and Toney were betting on NFL games, which is the league’s biggest concern.
Williams and Berryhill received six-game suspensions for placing bets on mobile devices while at the Lions’ Allen Park headquarters and training facility. Their bets were not on NFL games. NFL players are allowed to bet on sports outside of their own league, but there are restrictions on when and where they can do so.
NFL gambling policy
The NFL prohibits all league players and staff from betting on NFL games, the NFL draft, or anything relating to the league. Players are also forbidden from placing bets while they’re at a team facility or traveling for NFL-related purposes.
By enforcing these policies, the NFL hopes to curb any gambling-related corruption. As sports betting continues its massive growth trajectory, it’s important for leagues and their governing bodies to take their gambling-related policies seriously. Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes said:
“As a result of an NFL investigation, it came to our attention that a few of our players had violated the league’s gambling policy. These players exhibited decision making that is not consistent with our organizational values and violates league rules. We have made the decision to part ways with Quintez and C.J. immediately. We are disappointed by the decision making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward.”
Williams and Berryhill can still practice and be part of team activities, including training camp. They will become eligible to play in regular season games in Week 7.
Jameson Williams apologizes for betting in Lions team facility
Jameson Williams was the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The promising wide receiver wound up with the Lions for his rookie season, where he logged a single reception for 41 yards and a touchdown. He only played six games in his first season due to a long recovery from an ACL tear that occurred in the College Football Playoff championship during his time with Alabama.
William’s representation issued a statement following his suspension:
“Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates and the fans and city of Detroit,” Alliance Sports said. “However, it is important to note that Jameson’s violation was not for betting on football but rather due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed — and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility. Jameson would never intentionally jeopardize the integrity of the game he loves so much and looks forward to getting back to his team as soon as possible.”