Four more gambling-related suspensions were handed down to NFL players, the league announced Thursday. Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, Demetrius Taylor, and Nicholas Petit-Frere all received punishment for their actions, some harsher than others.
Rodgers, Berry, and Taylor are all on indefinite leave, at least through the 2023 season. Taylor, a free agent, played for the Detroit Lions in 2022, while Rodgers and Berry were both active Indianapolis Colts — at least until the news came out.
Petit-Frere received a six-game ban for betting on non-NFL sports while at the Tennessee Titans’ facility, according to a statement he released via ESPN.
“The betting I engaged in was NOT NFL related and was legal under Tennessee law. It is only being sanctioned because it occurred at the Titans facility.
“I want to apologize to my family, coaches, teammates and the Titans fans. I have always strived in every stage of my life to follow the rules. I did not knowingly break the rules. Even after attending a league presentation, I was unaware about the specifics around placing bets from a team facility.
“I will do everything in my power to help the team during training camp and will be prepared when I return to the roster during the season.”
My initial reaction is that this guy is an idiot. How does he not know this? The one thing Roger Goodell seems eager to investigate and punish is gambling, so it’s probably best to err on the side of common sense.
Petit-Frere joined a growing list of players who similarly didn’t know they couldn’t do that, as Jaemson Williams and Stanley Berryhill also fell prey to the seemingly mundane stipulation.
Be that as it may, when you think about the culture inside locker rooms, gambling is omnipresent. Guys play cards on the team plane, bet with one another over clashes between alma maters, and definitely aren’t hitting the links without something on the line. I mean, there’s footage of Michael Jordan gambling on made-up games with members of the Chicago Bulls security staff.
Petit-Frere’s biggest mistake wasn’t gambling; it was leaving a digital paper trail so the NFL could crawl up his ass.
The gripe is fair… up until you think about how easily Petit-Frere and others could’ve avoided these messes altogether. All he had to do was wait until he was off-site to place his four-team parlay. A lot of activities that are frowned upon at the office are perfectly fair game within the confines of your home, and if I can wait until 5:15 to take a bong hit, Petit-Frere and other NFL players also can show some restraint.