Falcons: Calvin Ridley’s indefinite suspension needs to be reduced
Back on March 7th, the NFL announced that they would be indefinitely suspending Falcons’ wide receiver Calvin Ridley for betting on NFL games, with him being eligible for reinstatement on February 15, 2023.
The NFL’s decision to drop the hammer on Ridley by suspending him for at least a year is downright ridiculous when you look at the bigger picture.
While it will not happen, the NFL should shorten the Falcons receivers’ suspension
Let’s start out by saying this, the NFL has made it crystal clear to NFL players that betting on games will result in significant punishment as it can jeopardize the integrity of the game, what the Falcons’ receiver did was dumb, to say the least. Ridley knew the rules and still chose to do what he did, no way around it, he made a big mistake.
With that being said, for the NFL to decide that an indefinite suspension is warranted for betting on games is ridiculous when you compare it to other suspensions they have distributed.
Consider that the NFL found that no games were affected by Ridley placing bets, he was away from the team and did not influence any games. So, essentially the only thing he hurt was his own wallet. Guess that somehow warrants essentially being banned from the league, at least until next year.
On the other hand, the NFL routinely hands out four to six-game suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs, something that can affect a game, even if it is very minimal. Nonetheless, PEDs have a bigger impact on the results of a game than Ridley’s gambling did, but yet Ridley gets a year-long suspension.
This is only arguing that Calvin’s suspension should be reduced, this is not to say that if someone uses PEDs they should be kicked out for a year because they should not. Many players accidentally take them as they do not realize it is an ingredient in something they are consuming.
Then you can get into the whole argument about the league’s punishments for violence. Rarely do you see a player commit an act of violence, whatever it might be, and the NFL suspend them for a year or more, usually, it is up to eight games.
There is no argument, that a violent offense should warrant a greater suspension than gambling, especially when that gambling has no impact on any game.
The NFL usually only hands out indefinite suspensions when it comes to extremely serious matters, like things that can result in significant jail time.
Or how about the time that Myles Garrett removed his helmet and hit Mason Rudolf over the head with it.
What was his punishment? An indefinite suspension that ended up only amounting to six games, six games at the end of a season in which the Browns were not in the hunt for the playoffs as they finished 6-10 that year. Six meaningless games.
So a player who gambles is punished more than a player who removes his helmet and uses it as a weapon on another player. Make sense? Didn’t think so.
Tom Brady was suspended four games for Deflategate.
What about Bountygate? One player—Jonathan Vilma—was suspended for a year, it was not even an indefinite suspension. Three others were also suspended for eight games, four games, and three games. All of this despite the NFL finding out that 22-27 players were participants, but guess you cannot suspend half a team.
The NFL will not reduce Ridley’s suspension, that is just not how they work, even if the right thing to do. Needless to say, the NFL is sending a terrible and unfair message with the indefinite suspension of the Falcons’ wide receiver.