The NFL’s embracing of legalized and mobile sports gambling is fraught with profit, opportunity and risk. Tremendous profits for one and many have already been made via FanDuel and other services for the league, U.S. states and more. The danger, of course, is the possibility of players gambling on the games, potentially compromising the integrity of the sport. This has unfortunately happened a few times now, from Calvin Ridley when he was with Atlanta in 2021, to Jameson Williams and others with Detroit recently (Williams is suspended six games to start 2023), to Isaiah Rodgers of the Colts, who allegedly gambled on multiple games he was involved in. Bad looks for the league and its new, profitable initiative.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has taken a hard stance against players gambling on their own sports, with suspensions aplenty already issued for those caught breaking the league’s rules, which are abundantly clear. Now the league is calling on perhaps its greatest star to help convince players not to break the rules and run the risk of losing their privilege to play.
According to Mike Klis of 9 News in Denver, the NFL recruited none other than Tom Brady to appear in their newest video aimed at educating players on the risks of gambling. Klis says, via a league source, Brady was tapped to film the introduction of the video, and after discussing what a privilege it is to play in the NFL, Klis says of Brady, “then says betting on NFL games hurts the integrity of the league and the reputation of everyone on your team, and it’s just not worth it.”
The NFL regularly tries to educate their players, staffers and everyone who is employed by the league about its policies with seminars every preseason. Their policy is very clear: no gambling on NFL games, period, and no gambling on other sorts while in NFL facilities.
Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise said Tuesday after OTAs that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has made his wish for his players to stay away from gambling very clear.
“He always tells us what we need to do, what we need to stay away from,” Wise said. “We had a whole meeting just about that.”
It would be a surprise to see or hear of any Patriots running afoul of the league’s gambling policies. But with suspensions in place and possibly more players at risk of the temptation to place a simple same game parlay even, maybe hearing the advice and warning of the GOAT will help them avoid the temptation of jeopardizing their careers.