Cardinals DB Josh Shaw Gets Suspended For Gambling On NFL Games

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One player took a gamble and is now paying the price.

The NFL announced on Friday, Nov. 29, that it was suspending Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw for gambling money on NFL games and for violating the league’s policy on multiple occasions.  

Shaw was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 25 with a shoulder injury and had not played at all in 2019. His suspension for participating in legal sports betting will last through the end of the 2020 NFL season.

“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,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. 

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

An investigation from league officials found no evidence of Shaw using inside information or that any of the Cardinals coaches or teammates knew about his gambling. 

The DB had been away from the team throughout most of the 2019 regular season, which is common with players recovering from season-ending injuries.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported via Twitter on Friday that “Shaw went to a Vegas casino this fall with buddies from HS. He’s on IR & hasn’t been around the team since preseason. Shaw placed sports bets for the 1st time based on misinterpreted understanding of the Supreme Court ruling.”

Rapoport then followed with an update on how “He used his own player card & ID. Shaw flew to NY immediately upon notice to meet with the NFL & cooperated fully.  Shaw has the opportunity to appeal what is the harshest gambling penalty in decades. He considers it an innocent mistake with a severe outcome.”

The NFL policy on gambling reads as follows:

“All NFL Personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet, whether directly or indirectly through a third-party, on any NFL game, practice or other event. This includes betting on game outcome, statistics, score, performance of any individual participant, or any other kind of ‘proposition bet’ on which wagering is offered.”

Shaw is only the fourth player in NFL history to be suspended for sports betting and the first in over 35 years. 

Previous one-year suspensions include Art Schlichter for the Indianapolis Colts in 1983 and both Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions in 1963.

Shaw has three days to file an appeal of the suspension, but if denied, he wouldn’t be eligible for reinstatement until Feb. 15, 2021.