NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has confirmed the suspension of Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw on an indefinite basis through until at least the conclusion of the 2020 season. 

The ban is in respect of betting on NFL games on multiple occasions this season, although the details of the type of bets, where they were placed and on which games have not been disclosed. Shaw is currently on Injured Reserve. 

According to an official statement from the NFL, a league investigation uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way. Nor, it said, was there evidence suggesting any awareness by teammates, coaches or other players of his betting activity.

Said Goodell: “The continued success of the NFL depends directly on each of us doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game and the reputations of all who participate in the league.  

“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. If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football.” 

Shaw may petition for reinstatement on or after February 15, 2021. Pursuant to the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, he may appeal his suspension by filing notice within three days.

Commentary: Integrity still remains front and center in the minds of league officials as sports betting continues to go legal across the US. And Shaw’s indiscretions will ensure it stays there. Nothing has been revealed about the nature of his betting activity or how it came to light, the latter point being of particular interest. Just how was he caught? But a big suspension, albeit pending an appeal, through 2020 sends a clear message that breaches will not be tolerated. The book has been well and truly thrown at Shaw.