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NFL Comes Down Hard on Player Gambling Violations

The NFL continues to take a hard line on player gambling violations with the suspension of four players this week alone. Isaiah Rodgers and Rashod Berry of the Indianapolis Colts and free agent Demetrius Taylor were suspended indefinitely for wagering on NFL games. Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere got off slightly easier with a six-game suspension for betting from an NFL facility.

Both Rodgers and Berry were released from the Colts as a result of the suspension. It’s unclear if, or when, they would be allowed to return to play. Petite-Frere is expected to return to the Titans when his suspension is over.

Petit-Frere explained his situation to ESPN’s Adam Schifter saying, “The betting I engaged in was NOT NFL related and was legal under Tennessee law. It is only being sanctioned because it occurred at the Titans facility.” Though he may be sorry, he shouldn’t have been ignorant of the NFL’s policy against wagering from their facilities. Last year Detroit wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill received six game suspensions for the same thing.

Other players’ violations were a bit more egregious, Rodgers in particular. According to ESPN, Rodgers placed dozens of bets on NFL games, including his own. Most of the bets were in the $25-$50 range, though he did win an over/under bet on a fellow teammate.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard summed up the league’s view towards gambling violations saying in a statement to ESPN saying, “The integrity of the game is of the utmost importance. As an organization we will continue to educate our players, coaches, and staff on the policies in place and the significant consequences that may occur with violations.”

Despite the seriousness of these recent suspensions, it seems a certainty that more professional athletes will find themselves in this same position as regulated sports betting continues to change the face of American sports.