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Why Were Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, and Demetrius Taylor Suspended and How Does This Affect Other Players?

Why Were Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, and Demetrius Taylor Suspended and How Does This Affect Other Players?
Why Were Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, and Demetrius Taylor Suspended and How Does This Affect Other Players?

Earlier this year, Isaiah Rodgers and Rashod Berry of the Indianapolis Colts and Demetrius Taylor, who was a free agent, were suspended from the NFL for betting on NFL action. The suspensions are indefinite. These suspensions followed action that was taken against Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore and Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney.

These suspensions are not the only ones that have happened since legal betting markets launched following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018. Since then, eleven players and a number of other personnel have been suspended. Suspensions for a breach of gambling rules in the NFL are not only about betting on NFL games; there are other prohibited actions that we will take a closer look at.

Players like Nicholas Petit-Frere, Jameson Williams, and Stanley Berryhill were suspended for other rule breeches

Amongst the most recent sanctions for gambling breaches in the NFL was the suspension of Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, who was punished for betting on other sports in the workplace. Petit-Frere was suspended for six games, as were Detroit wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill at an earlier date. Their suspensions were for the same rule breach after they were found to have participated in mobile betting at the Lions’ Allen Park facility.

The number of players facing this type of suspension seems to have at least partially been caused by a lack of understanding of the rules that apply to NFL players.

What are the rules that players must adhere to?

For players in the NFL, there are six key rules that apply regarding betting. These rules are:

● Refrain from betting on any NFL action.

● Do not gamble at your team’s facility, while you are traveling to or from a game, or while you are staying at a hotel with your team.

● Do not ask anyone else to place a bet for you.

● Refrain from sharing inside information about your team.

● Do not enter a sportsbook while the NFL playing season is taking place.

● Do not participate in daily fantasy football.

These rules are not dissimilar to those for other professional sports leagues, like the English Premier League. The rules for this league apply to anyone who is involved in any of the football leagues in England, including the English Football League, National League, and The FA Women’s Super League, as well as other lower-placed leagues.

In this case, the rules state that anyone involved in any of these leagues cannot bet on any football-related matter anywhere in the world. The ban includes not only betting on football directly but also on football-related matters like player transfers or team selections. The global nature of the ban means that those involved are prohibited from football-related betting at any land-based or online casino that is licensed in the UK, as well as non gamstop casinos online that are licensed in other jurisdictions.

Unlike the rules for NFL players, there is no mention of betting on other sports in any location. This prohibition of betting on sports outside the NFL is one of the rules that confuses some players. This confusion led to the NFL asking Tom Brady to help with some education.

Education of players is paramount in the NFL

Tom Brady created a video to be shown to players to warn them about the dangers of gambling. In the video, Brady warns players that they can damage their careers by breaking gambling rules. He also reminds them that they are privileged to be playing in the NFL and that breaching betting rules damages the reputation of their team and of the NFL overall.

It remains to be seen whether the NFL’s attempts to educate players will be successful. Only time will tell.  

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