William Walters ‘24
In a stunning turn of events this past week, commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, announced that effective immediately players will now be allowed to place bets on games.
It is expected for the commissioners of the other major sports leagues, including the NBA, NHL, and MLB to follow in the coming days. This comes just weeks after the shocking news that star wideout Calvin Ridley would be suspended for the entire 2022-2023 season after it was revealed that he placed a bet on an NFL game last season.
It remains to be seen if Ridley’s suspension will be addressed following this announcement, but some expect him to be reinstated for the entire 2022-2023 NFL season.
Players around the league are buzzing with excitement about the possibility of betting on themselves with their hard-earned salary money. One NFL player The Scowl spoke with this afternoon, who asked to remain anonymous, excitedly told me that his over in receiving yards was always a lock and that he cannot wait to be able to wager thousands on it each week.
Another player that The Scowl spoke with, Zach Wilson, quarterback of the New York Jets, told me that as soon as he got the news he went straight to Atlantic City and placed a wager on the Jets to win the Super Bowl at +15,000 odds, meaning that his million-dollar bet would return $150,000,000!
Some critics worry that this ground-breaking new rule will disrupt the game too much. It is easy to see players getting too caught up in their bets and forgetting the real point of the game: to have fun! Some fans are also worried that players being able to bet on games could create some troubling conflicts of interest.
Goodell is not too concerned with any of the players having a conflict of interest; in the introductory press conference, he acknowledged that it is a big risk for the league, but if it pays off, it will make the NFL billions in added revenue. Players across other leagues are eager to get more news regarding whether their leagues will be making a similar announcement soon. The Scowl has been told that the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, is the closest to making it official, and a press conference to make the announcement could come as early as Friday. It will be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming weeks.