The NFL has been an absolute circus over the past few years.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has done a poor job managing crises.
Now an NFL coach was suspended for an entire year after one jaw-dropping scandal.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season due to getting caught gambling on games as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
Now the NFL is dealing with another gambling scandal.
New York Jets wide receiver coach Miles Austin was suspended for an entire year for betting on non-NFL games; players are permitted to do so, but coaches are not.
From Sports Illustrated:
“Jets wide receivers coach Miles Austin has been suspended for a violation of the league’s gambling policy, according to an NFL source. Austin, 38, did not gamble on NFL games, according to a statement provided by Austin’s attorney, Bill Deni of Gibbons P.C. In the statement, Deni says that Austin ‘wager[ed] from a legal mobile account on table games and non-NFL professional sports.’ Deni adds that Austin is appealing the suspension and has cooperated with the league’s investigation. The suspension is for a minimum of one year…In the latest version of the NFL’s gambling policy for personnel, revised in 2022, Section 2.2 expressly prohibits any ‘full-time, part-time personnel including League office employees, club employees, players, owners, athletic trainers, game officials security personnel, game-day stadium personnel and other staff, consultants and temporary contract workers’ from gambling on any sport. However, it does provide a loophole for players to gamble on non-NFL sports.”
Gambling has long been a major component of sports entertainment, but only recently has it been widely legalized and accepted.
However, the NFL clearly does not want to set a precedent of coaches gambling on sports.
But the mixed messaging has not gone unnoticed.
Sports Illustrated continued:
“The suspension calls into question the optics of a league that profits mightily from its relationships to various gambling entities and frequently advertises their services but asks its league personnel not to participate in non-NFL gambling activities…NFL personnel who participate in fantasy football leagues are not allowed to accept more than $250 in prizes, or participate in “Daily” fantasy football contests. Austin missed a critical Week 16 Thursday night game against the Jaguars, with both teams vying for a playoff berth.”
It appears the NFL is attempting to nip any gambling concerns in the bud, especially after the Ridley fiasco, who bet on the Falcons to win.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said of the Ridley ordeal, “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…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.”
Goodell should’ve been this proactive during the anti-American anthem protests, but he allowed them to fester and only now is the league recovering from the damage to the brand.