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#pounditWednesday, May 22, 2024

NFL players want to see 1 big change to gambling policy

Roger Goodell at the podium

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with the media. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s policy on gambling has been a source of frustration around the league this offseason, and there is one aspect of it that many players wish would change.

ESPN’s Stephen Holder conducted a survey of 53 players to get their opinions on some of the gambling issues that have come to light over the past several months. Many of the players who were interviewed said they disagree with the portion of the policy that prohibits gambling at team facilities or when traveling with their teams.

“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.”

Since April, a total of 10 players have been suspended for violations of the NFL’s gambling policy. Some received bans of at least a full season for placing wagers that involved NFL games, which is generally accepted as the most obvious violation of the rules. Others received six-game bans for where they placed their bets, not what they bet on.

Many players feel the latter should not be illegal.

“I would like to see that changed,” one player told Holder. “[The suspended players] may have just not understood the rule. That is unfortunate.”

Of the 53 players surveyed, 22 said placing wagers from a team facility or while on the road with the team should not be considered a violation.

Most seem to agree that the NFL has not been clear enough with the gambling policy. That is one of the reasons Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton ripped the league when discussing the policy last month.

Players should now be well aware that they are not permitted to place bets while at work, especially after the NFL gave them six key rules to follow. That does not mean they have to agree with the policy, and many of them do not.

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