The National Football League (NFL) has confirmed the suspension of five Detroit Lions players after violating the league’s gambling policy in regards to sports betting.
Stanley Berryhill, Quintez Cephus, CJ Moore, Shaka Toney and Jameson Williams were all found to be in breach of the gambling policy which forbids current NFL players to not engage in any form of gambling while competing in the league.
The five Lions players become the seventh players since the repeal of PASPA in 2018 to be suspended by the NFL over gambling violations, joining Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley and Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Josh Shaw.
“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 organisational 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.”
The Lions confirmed the dismissal of Cephus and Moore from their roster in the wake of the announcement and, alongside Toney – now playing for the Washington Commanders – will be suspended for the entire 2023-24 season, whilst Berryhill and Williams will be suspended for six games.
The NFL believes that Cephus, Moore and Toney wagered on a trio of NFL games, with Berryhill and Williams receiving slightly more lenient punishment wagering whilst in league facilities but not on actual NFL fixtures.
A NFL statement read: “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 travelling on Club or League business.
“For clarity, playing cards or other casino-type games is permitted as long as nothing of value is wagered.”
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.