Nick Laham | Getty Images
Five NFL players have been banned for violating the National Football League’s gambling policy, the league announced today.
The policy prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any form of gambling at any league facility or venue, including practice facilities. The league said its review found no evidence inside information was used.
No games were affected by the gambling, the NFL added.
Three players — the Detroit Lions’ Quintez Cephus and CJ Moore and the Washington Commanders’ Shaka Toney — will be suspended indefinitely, at least until the end of the 2023 season, for betting on NFL games in the previous season.
These players can apply for reinstatement at the end of the season.
Two other Lions athletes — Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams — are suspended from playing the first six regular-season games. You can participate in offseason and preseason activities.
Quintez Cephus #87 of the Detroit Lions catches the ball for a first down in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
The NFL crackdown comes as 33 states, including Michigan and Washington, DC, have introduced legal betting markets since a landmark US Supreme Court case in 2018 paved the way for states to offer legal sports betting.
Earlier this week, the major pro leagues — the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, WNBA, NASCAR and MLS — announced they were joining media outlets NBCUniversal and Fox in a coalition aimed at boosting the promotion of Regulate sports betting as it floods television, internet and print media.
Shortly after the suspensions were announced, the Detroit Lions said they would release Cephus and Moore. According to ESPN, the Lions became aware of the NFL’s investigation “about a month ago.”
“We are disappointed in the decisions made by Stanley and Jameson and will be working with both players to ensure they understand the seriousness of these violations and have clarity on future league rules,” said Brad Holmes, Detroit Lions executive vice president and general manager in an opinion.
Commanders said the team was aware of Toney’s suspension. “We have fully cooperated with the NFL’s investigation since receiving the notification and support the league’s findings and actions,” the team said in a statement.
Shaka Toney #58 of the Washington Commanders stands during the national anthem against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Houston, Texas.
Cooper Neil | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
Toney’s suspension is the latest hit for the Commanders. Last week, the district attorney general said the commanders would pay $625,000 to settle allegations that the organization failed to refund fans’ ticket deposits.
Former DC Attorney General Karl Racine, who sued the Commanders last year, claimed that since 1996 the football team had promised to return fans’ deposits for premium seating, but instead pocketed the money and spent it.
A spokesman for Commanders said in a statement the team has not collected bail for more than a decade and has been “actively working to return all remaining bail since 2014.”
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.