Jameson Williams and four others suspended for violating NFL's gambling policy
On Friday, April 21st, the NFL issued suspensions to Jameson Williams, Stanley Berryhill, Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore and Shaka Toney. All five players violated the NFL’s gambling policy to varying degrees.
Williams and Berryhill were suspended only six games because neither of them bet on NFL games. The two were only guilty of betting at the Lions’ Allen Park facility, and betting on team property is prohibited. However, the other three players are all suspended indefinitely. Toney, who plays for the Washington Commanders, is the only one that isn’t on the Detroit Lions. But Detroit instantly decided to part ways with Cephus and Moore after the incident. The Lions also had to make several staff changes in the offseason, as there were team employees that also violated the gambling policy.
This isn’t the first time that an NFL player has been caught gambling. Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season because he was found to be betting in 2021, when he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons. But these new suspensions should serve as a lesson to all players. Betting on NFL games will always be forbidden, but betting on other sports is allowed. Players just need to make sure they’re not doing it at team facilities, or on team-owned transportation. And now every player in the NFL should know there’s absolutely no wiggle room there.
The Williams suspension is the biggest hit to come from all of this. The speedy wideout was the 12th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and Detroit has high hopes for him. But after missing all but six games in the 2022 season, Williams will now miss another six this year. Missing out on that many game reps is only going to make it harder on him to make his mark, but the good news is that he and Berryhill are allowed to participate in all team activities up until the start of the regular season. From there, it’ll be up to them to remain in game shape before they presumably debut in Week 7.
For what it’s worth, the NFL hasn’t yet found any evidence that players are using inside information when gambling. With how much sports gambling has been embraced by most professional sports leagues, game fixing is something that everybody is worried about.