The NFL on Monday suspended Calvin Ridley after learning the Atlanta Falcons receiver gambled on games during the 2021 season.
Ridley, who stepped away from the Falcons to focus on his mental health after Week 6 in October, placed multiple wagers during a five-day span in November, according to the league’s statement. Ridley shared that he bet a total of $1,500.
Immediately after news of the suspension broke, many questioned how Ridley got caught in the first place. NFL reporters like Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo provided insight on that topic shortly after.
“So how did Calvin Ridley get busted?,” Breer tweeted. “He was in Florida, and used the only gambling app legal in the state. The app notified a compliance company the NFL has hired call Genius for this kind of thing. That he was out of state was a factor in Ridley’s activity being flagged.”
Breer and others also acknowledged what Ridley’s bets included. There reportedly was a series of wagers from Ridley’s phone, including three-, five- and eight-game parlays. Ridley reportedly did bet on the Falcons, but did not bet against them.
Garafolo offered further insight Monday on NFL Network.
“My understanding is that Ridley used his phone to bet on games, again, when he was away from the Falcons to place parlay bets, which is he bets on multiple teams, and the NFL was made aware of it, conducted an investigation and through their gambling partners were able to corroborate the information,” Garafolo said.
Garafolo also recalled that when the NFL agreed to partnerships with major sportsbooks, the league shared how those partnerships would aid in revealing if situations like Ridley’s were to take place.
“And remember when the NFL did announce their gambling partnerships within the last couple of years, they did make the statement saying we will be able to work with our partners to make sure the integrity of the game is upheld,” Garafolo said. “In other words, if we find out that teams or players or coaches or executives, whatever, are involved in gambling, we will be able to work with our betting partners to corroborate any information. That is what happened in this case. That is how the NFL found out and how they conducted their investigation and confirmed the information that leads to the suspension of Calvin Ridley for the 2022 season at least.”
Ridley, who has since addressed the suspension on Twitter, can apply for reinstatement after the 2022 campaign is concluded.