5 Detroit Lions suspended for violating NFL betting policy

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Last year, when asked about Calvin Ridley at the SBC Summit North America Player Protection Symposium, former NBA player Randy Livingston was clear.

“He isn’t the only one.”

And he wasn’t wrong.

The NFL announced today that five different players from the Detroit Lions violated the league’s gambling policy, joining Ridley and Josh Shaw on the list of players suspended for sports betting in the post-PASPA era.

The players involved are:

Quintez Cephus
CJ Moore
Shaka Toney
Stanley Berryhill
Jameson Williams

Cephus, Moore, and Toney will have to sit out an entire season like Ridley did, while Berryhill and Williams will sit out six games. A league investigation determined the trio wagered on NFL games. Toney now plays for the Washington Commanders, but the Lions have released Cephus and Moore in the wake of the announcement.

The latter two were not wagering on league games, but did place wagers while in league facilities, which is a violation of the rules on gambling:

“NFL Personnel shall not engage in any form of gambling while in any Club or League setting including, without limitation, locker rooms, practice or office facilities, team buses, trains, flights, or hotels, or while traveling on Club or League business. For clarity, playing cards or other casino-type games is permitted as long as nothing of value is wagered.”

“As a result of an NFL investigation, it came to our attention that a few of our players had violated the league’s gambling policy,” said Detroit Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes. “These players exhibited decision making that is not consistent with our organizational values and violates league rules. We have made the decision to part ways with Quintez and C.J. immediately. We are disappointed by the decision making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward.”

Williams’s representation, Alliance Sports, put out a statement about him shortly after the news broke:

“Alliance Sports confirms that its client, Jameson Williams, has been suspended by the NFL for six games for violating the NFL’s gambling policy. Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates and the fans and city of Detroit. However, it is important to note that Jameson’s violation was not for betting on football but rather due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed — and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility. Jameson would never intentionally jeopardize the integrity of the game he loves so much and looks forward to getting back to his team as soon as possible.”

ESPN reported that several Lions staffers were dismissed for violating the gambling policy in recent months, but says the incidents are unrelated.