The NFL has made a big deal about its gambling policies this year. Many players, including Lions receiver Jameson Williams, have been handed a suspension due to violating the policies. ESPN released a survey where they talked to players about the policies and what they thought about them. Some stay anonymous while others go on the record. It is a fascinating report that shows what players really think.
NFL Gambling Policies Ripped By Players
Gambling isn’t as prevalent in locker rooms as you might think and all players agreed that betting on their own games is an issue. However, other parts of the policies are confusing to the players mainly the location of the gambling. Williams got suspended for betting on other sports on a team facility. Had he walked out the door and made the bet he would have been fine. Players view this as dumb.
“You’re telling me that if I walk 10 feet from the [facility’s] door it doesn’t matter anymore?” one player said. “I just think that’s kind of dumb. It’s pointless. I don’t see how that’s helping anything.”
“Why can’t players bet on other sports that don’t compromise the integrity of the game?”
With how easy it is to place bets nowadays, it seems trivial for a player to be able to place a bet on basketball outside of the facility but not in the locker room.
What Constitutes Gambling?
Another aspect that players needed clarification on was what constitutes gambling.
“I’m guessing every single player is in some kind of NCAA tournament pool,” a player said. “One of my closest friends on the team is big into that. He does brackets, he does a survivor pool. He told me he does it under a fake name. I know some guys do a Masters pool, too. Is that considered gambling?”
Another said: “Bama is playing LSU, your two colleges are playing, we’ll bet wearing a hoodie or a couple hundred. But I never heard anyone say ‘I’m betting on [Floyd] Mayweather.’ The only thing I’ve seen are colleges and card games, dice games.”
Is an NCAA tournament pool gambling? Is betting your friend a sandwich over a college football rivalry gambling? Can players play poker on the team plane for money? It seems the NFL doesn’t really care about this but it is technically gambling. Players want more clarification on this.
The whole report on the gambling policies in the NFL is very interesting. Players are able to talk openly about what they like, don’t like, and what they would change. Check out the full report on ESPN here.