Five NFL Players Suspended For Betting Offenses

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Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 01: Jameson Williams #9 of the Detroit Lions runs up the field in the second half of a game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on January 01, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

The NFL has once again hit players hard over sports betting.

The NFL has always had a somewhat awkward relationship with sports betting. As more and more states have legalized the practice, the NFL has cautiously opened itself up to the lucrative industry. In 2021, the league announced agreements with four sportsbook operators. However, the NFL has been careful not to officially endorse any one operator through an official partnership. Sports betting revenue hit $7.5 billion in 2022.

However, an area where the NFL has held firm is betting on the part of its players. Like most professional sports leagues in the US, the NFL forbids players from betting in any capacity. The most notable casualty of this is Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who was suspended for the 2022 season for betting on games during the 2021 season. That suspension led to Ridley's release from the Falcons, as well as criticisms that the NFL was harsher on gambling than issues such as sexual assault.

Four Lions, One Commander Handed Suspensions

On April 21, the NFL officially suspended five players for betting-related offenses. Wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore, both of the Lions, and defensive end Shaka Toney of the Commanders received indefinite suspensions for betting on NFL games. Wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill, also both of the Lions, were suspended for six games each for placing bets not related to the NFL. The Lions have since reported that Cephus and Moore have been released from the team. Toney remains on the Commanders at the time of writing.

Williams is the biggest name of the five who were suspended. The twelfth overall pick in the 2022 Draft, Williams spent most of the season rehabbing from an ACL tear sustained in the 2022 College National Championship game. However, he was expected to be a major part of the Lions' offense this season. Of the other Lions suspended, Cephus was a 2020 fifth-rounder who has played in 22 games over the last three seasons. Moore went undrafted in 2019 but has made 48 tackles in 56 games for the Lions. Berryhill went undrafted in 2022 and made four appearances for the team last year. Shaka Toney was a 2021 seventh-rounder who appeared in 26 games for the Commanders.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.