The NFL has significant problems with their gambling policy and I’m betting it’s only going to get worse as time goes on. While sports betting at this time isn’t legal in the state of California, it doesn’t necessarily matter as players will place bets wherever it is allowed.
Earlier this offseason, five players including Lions’ 2022 first-rounder Jameson Williams were either suspended indefinitely or faced a six-game ban for gambling. Last season, former Falcons’ wideout Calvin Ridley was hit with a year-long suspension for gambling on NFL games before being reinstated. Now, Colts’ corner Isaiah Rodgers might be next as the league investigates him. Rodgers issued an apology on social media for his mistake:
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has a chance to limit a growing problem by making a firm impression on his young team. A few coaches across the NFL have already educated their teams on the gambling policy. Most notably Ron Rivera and Bill Belichick have briefed their players and this is where McVay needs to follow in their footsteps.
#Commanders HC Ron Rivera says they recently showed a PowerPoint to players about the consequences of betting on games.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) June 6, 2023
The NFL will also make a presentation this week and again during training camp about what's at stake if they gamble.
"We have to be very diligent about this." pic.twitter.com/asMig2O35d
Patriots DE Deatrich Wise on the NFL’s gambling policy:— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) June 6, 2023
“Bill Belichick actually talks about that in very large detail. He always tells us what we need to do, what we need to stay away from. We had a whole meeting about just that, so we do a good job of learning (from it).” pic.twitter.com/PdiskXsxSe
Having Belichick telling me what not to do would scare the hell out of me enough as it is so you can bet no Patriots would be suspended for gambling. No, instead they get in trouble for other um, infractions. Anyways, McVay doesn’t have the ability to intimidate his players like the Angel of Death over in New England. He doesn’t need to instill the fear of God into them to get his message across. Although I guess that wouldn’t hurt.
McVay needs to be firm with his players by holding them to the highest possible standards, win or lose. LA and quite frankly, all NFL teams need a role model to turn to when uncertainties arise. Particularly when it comes to rules changes and the like. They don’t need Tom Brady to issue them a PSA on anything besides how to properly whine to refs for being breathed on by a defender or deflating footballs.
Unfortunately, gambling has become a mess of the league’s own creation since they continue partnering with major sportsbooks and allowing them to operate in their stadiums. The NFL has reached a point of no return as there’s far too much money involved to turn their backs now. Education is the key to preventing the potential for further violations.
If the Rams themselves lose a player to violations of the gambling policy, you know McVay would be kicking himself for not doing anything sooner. This would be the ideal time to start as it’s his job as a head coach to prepare his players for everything the league throws at them.