The NFL is seriously cracking down on players found to be gambling on games across the league.
The crackdown appeared to begin last year when the league suspended then Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for the entire 2022 season.
But it didn’t stop there.
The league also prohibits placing sports bets while at a team facility, and recently suspended Detroit Lions players Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill for violation of that policy.
That pales in comparison to the league’s charges against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers, who allegedly gambled on NFL games and now faces a still suspension.
“Addressing the current reports, I want to take full responsibility for my actions,” Rodgers said in a statement addressing the charges. “I know I have made mistakes, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to repair the situation. The last thing I ever wanted to do was to be a distraction to the Colts organization, my coaches and my teammates. I’ve let people down that I care about. I made an error in judgment, and I am going to work hard to make sure that those mistakes are rectified through this process. It’s an honor to play in the NFL, and I have never taken that lightly. I am very sorry for all of us.”
Indianapolis then put the rest of the team through a re-education process regarding the league’s gambling rules, and Colts linebacker EJ Speed had a simple message for his teammate and anyone else caught gambling on games.
“What I got from those sessions was: ‘Don’t gamble,'” Speed said, via Fox 59. “That’s all I got. They made it apparent … what you’re allowed to do and what you shouldn’t. It’s a hard topic to speak on right now because how sensitive it is around the league.
“Right now, I would just encourage anybody: Just don’t gamble. It’s not worth it.”
Seems simple enough. And yet here we are.