Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley Suspended for 2022 Season After Gambling on Games

After the suspension was announced Monday by the NFL, Calvin Ridley tweeted, "I bet 1500 total I don't have a gambling problem"

Calvin Ridley

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended from the NFL.

On Monday, the league announced in a statement their decision to defer Ridley from at least throughout the 2022 season for placing bets on NFL games last year.

The NFL also stated the activity occurred during a five-day period in late November 2021 while Ridley was not with the team and away from the club's facility on the non-football illness list.

Calvin Ridley

Following the news of the suspension, Ridley spoke out in a series of tweets claiming he bet 1500 in total and does not have a "gambling problem."

He added he couldn't even watch football at the time.

"Just gone be more healthy when I come back," he continued. "I know I was wrong But I'm getting 1 year lol."

PEOPLE has reached out to Ridley's representative for comment following the announcement but has not received an immediate response.

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Additionally, the NFL explained in the statement that no evidence was found to indicate Ridley had used inside information or "that any game was compromised in any way." There also was no evidence that any of his work associates, including coaches, staff, or players, were aware of his gambling, the league said in its press release.

"There is nothing more fundamental to the NFL's success — and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league – than upholding the integrity of the game," commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to Ridley notifying him of the suspension. "This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, and anyone else employed in the league. Your actions put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL.

"For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions."

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Ridley can appeal the ban by filing notice within three days; otherwise, he will be eligible to apply for reinstatement starting Feb.15, 2023, per the NFL.

"We were first made aware of the league's investigation on Feb. 9," the Falcons issued a statement. "We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice and support the league's findings and actions. We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made. With the decision that was made by the NFL, any further questions on the investigation should be directed to the league office."

Last October, after playing five games in the 2021 season, Ridley announced he would temporarily step away from the sports to look after his mental health.

"These past few weeks have been very challenging and as much as I'd like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing," Ridley said in his statement at the time.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said in a tweet, as a result of the suspension, Ridely will "now be under contract through 2023 and his $11.116 million salary will come off Atlanta's books this season."

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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