NFL Releases Gambling Memo Before Suspending Josh Shaw for Betting

  • The NFL prohibits all its employees from wagering on football games
  • The league will terminate the employment of any player found betting on NFL games
  • Josh Shaw will not be able to petition for reinstatement until February 15, 2021
NFL-branded football on pitch
The NFL’s suspension of Arizona Cardinals player Josh Shaw followed the release of a memo concerning the league’s stance on gambling. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Memo released ahead of player’s suspension

The NFL released a gambling memo reaffirming league rules which state that any employee caught gambling on football games will have their contract terminated.

The document was circulated before the league announced the suspension of Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw for gambling on the sport.

League issues a reminder

The NFL’s memo outlining its stance on gambling was sent to its 32 teams as a reminder of employee conduct.

The league’s gambling policy states that all personnel are prohibited from placing a bet, soliciting, or facilitating wagers, be it directly or indirectly via a third party, on any NFL game, practice, or event.

all personnel are prohibited from placing a bet, soliciting, or facilitating wagers

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL’s continued success is dependent on everyone in the league doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game, as well as on the reputations of those who participate in the league.

Mr Goodell added: “At the core of this responsibility is the longstanding principle that betting on NFL games, or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL, and is forbidden under all circumstances.”

Josh Shaw’s suspension

The suspension of Josh Shaw is the first punishment of its kind to be issued by the NFL since the 1980s.

Shaw has been on injured reserve for quite some time and is inactive in gameplay. Since he was placed on the reserve list, the defensive back player has not been around at the Cardinals’ complex. The team had not heard from him in quite some time and were surprised to find out about his suspension.

An investigation carried out by the NFL revealed that teammates of Shaw, coaches, and other players in the league were not aware of his gambling. Shaw did not use inside information for betting, and his practices did not affect the integrity of any NFL game.

the first punishment of its kind to be issued by the NFL since the 1980s

The NFL has not revealed how much Shaw wagered and if he bet on Cardinals games. It is also unknown whether Shaw placed the wagers himself. A spokesperson for the league said such details are not relevant to the broader issues at play when considering the player’s misconduct.

Shaw’s suspension will last through the conclusion of the 2020 season at minimum. The NFL will allow him to petition for reinstatement starting on February 15, 2021.

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