Gosh, It Sure Keeps Happening!
Another NFL player, the Denver Broncos’ defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike, has been suspended for gambling on play in his own league, per a Monday announcement. The suspension is indefinite, but will last at least a year. He is the tenth player to receive a sports betting–related suspension this year. In a Tuesday interview, the Broncos’ head coach, Sean Payton, blamed the league for being insufficiently clear in communicating the gambling guidelines to players.
That may be; I’m always happy to knock the cretinous Roger Goodell and his cronies, particularly his grotesque flip-flop on gambling legalization. Sad to say, I doubt that even the clearest league dictates are going to prevent competitive young men from engaging in a widely available (and completely legal) activity. Sports betting is not unique in this regard; every year, there are disciplinary actions for drug use and violations of league weapons policies.
What makes sports betting different, of course, is that it compromises the integrity of the game. So long as omnipresent legal bookmaking persists, so will questions about every score and statistic produced at an American sporting event. Policymakers must ask whether they prefer gambling tax revenue or sports integrity; so far, their choice has been pretty clear. Maybe WWE is set to be the bellwether in yet another aspect of American public life.