Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley took to Twitter on Monday to respond after the National Football League suspended him for at least the 2022 season for betting on games during the 2021 NFL season.
In a serious tweets that Ridley posted immediately after the league announced his suspension, Ridley offered some context for the situation. He claimed he didn’t have a gambling problem and spent a total of $1,500 when he did bet on games:
Ridley followed that tweet up by saying he “couldn’t even watch football” at the time he placed his bets. The 27-year-old stepped away from the Atlanta Falcons in late October to focus on his mental health.
The league stated that the gambling took place during a five-day period in late November while Ridley was not with the Falcons:
Later on, Ridley tweeted that he betting on games was wrong but seemingly disagreed with the length of the suspension:
The NFL announced the suspension for Ridley on Monday afternoon. In a letter to Ridley, commissioner Roger Goodell said Ridley’s actions put the “integrity of the game at risk.”
“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,” Goodell wrote. “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.”
The league said that an NFL-led investigation showed no evidence indicating that any inside information was used or that the integrity of any game was comprised. Additionally, no Falcons coaches, players or staff had any awareness of Ridley’s actions, per the NFL.
In a statement, the Falcons said they were made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9, and have fully cooperated since.
Ridley is eligible to apply for reinstatement on Feb. 15, 2023.