Sports leagues, both pro and amateur, have a lot of rules players have to follow.  These are impressed upon the athletes over and over again from the time they first put on a uniform. While some rules often only result in a slight admonishment or slap on the wrist, there are certainly those that result in major fines.  On top of that, there are a few that are seen as pure blasphemy and which cause league brass to shudder and unfortunately Josh Shaw from the Cardinals has been banned for breaking one of these rules.

Josh Shaw Banned For Betting

One of the most egregious violations is a player betting on NFL games in a league of which he or she is a part, and Josh Shaw of the Arizona Cardinals has found out the hard way what happens when the rule is broken, being banned.  The cornerback’s name will be all but forgotten “at least” through the end of the 2020 season.

The NFL is clear on its anti-gambling stance – don’t do it, period.

“All NFL Personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet, whether directly or indirectly through a third-party, on any NFL game, practice or other event,” the policy states. “This includes betting on game outcome, statistics, score, performance of any individual participant, or any other kind of ‘proposition bet’ on which wagering is offered.”

The 27-year-old Shaw, already out on injured reserve before being suspended, apparently was discovered to have been involved in wagers on league games, but it isn’t yet clear how much he may have bet, how often or if he bet on any games involving his own team.  He has been banned by the league, making Shaw ineligible to even apply for reinstatement back to the NFL until February 15, 2021 – if he can find a team willing to take him at that time.

In a statement from the NFL, the league recognized Shaw’s actions, but wouldn’t provide many details.  It stated, “A league investigation uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way.  Nor was there evidence suggesting any awareness by teammates, coaches or other players of his betting activity.”

More than ever, leagues are going to crack down on players who gamble.  After the US Supreme Court told lawmakers they were wrong in accepting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in May of last year, thanks to New Jersey’s stubborn efforts, all sports leagues are beginning to embrace sports gambling.

They’re going to do whatever it takes to try to ensure integrity of the leagues is upheld and there is no doubt that there will be no room for mistakes.  A slap on the wrist for a gambling violation isn’t going to happen – those who take a chance and gamble even once are going to meet an early end to their careers.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued his own statement about Shaw being banned.

“The continued success of the NFL depends directly on each of us doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game and the reputations of all who participate in the league. At the core of this responsibility is the longstanding principle that betting on NFL games, or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL and is forbidden under all circumstances. If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football.”

Shaw had only been with the Cards since this past March after making appearances with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since entering the league in 2015.  He was with the team on a one-year contract worth $850,000, but ended up on the bench after an injury to his shoulder during a NFL game during the Cardinals’ preseason opener against the LA Chargers in August.