The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to adjust the existing gambling policy as it relates to players, which will immediately reinstate a couple of suspended players.
The league is reinstating Lions receiver Jameson Williams and Titans offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere, effective Monday, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported. Williams and Petit-Frere still had two weeks left on their existing suspensions prior to Friday’s policy changes.
The adjustments include heightened penalties for players who bet on NFL games — including the possibility of a lifetime ban — and a reduction of penalties for players who place bets on other sports while in the workplace or while working.
“The NFL and NFL Players Association share a longstanding and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of the game,” the league and players’ union said in a joint statement Friday. “The NFL periodically reviews the gambling policy in consultation with the NFLPA and clubs to ensure it is responsive to changing circumstances and fully addresses this commitment.”
Betting on NFL games will draw an indefinite suspension at a minimum of one year, or two years if a player bets on a contest involving his team. Actual or attempted game fixing will result in a permanent ban from the NFL, while providing inside information and tipping will elicit an indefinite suspension (minimum of one year), as will third-party or proxy betting.
The most significant change outside of the NFL arena reduces penalties for betting on other sports while in the workplace, calling for two-game suspensions without pay for first-time offenders, six-game bans (also without pay) for second-time offenders, and suspension without pay for at least one year for a third violation. Williams and Petit-Frere were previously suspended six games for betting on non-NFL sports at a team facility. Under the amended policy, they would’ve been banned two games.
The NFL Commissioner will consider specific patterns of behavior and history of wagers, as well as the player in question’s access to confidential information or an ability to affect a game in any way, among other factors, per a memo obtained by NFL Network’s Judy Battista. Self-reporting violations, acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with league investigations can serve as mitigating factors when determining penalties.
The NFL has banned a handful of players since enacting its gambling policy, including a few rounds of suspensions prior to the start of the 2023 season. Williams and Petit-Frere are the only suspended players directly affected by this change in policy.
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