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NFL says Josh Shaw's gambling did not 'compromise' games

30th November, 14:25

The NFL said Friday that no game outcomes were affected by Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw's gambling activities.

The league made a point to mention that as it announced it had suspended Shaw through at least the entire 2020 season for betting on NFL games.

"A league investigation uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way," the league said in its statement. "Nor was there evidence suggesting any awareness by teammates, coaches or other players of (Shaw's) betting activity."

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The league did not disclose the specifics of that activity, including whether Shaw bet on Cardinals games.

Shaw, 27, was already out for the 2019 season with an injury. Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweeted that Shaw has not been around the team since August when he was placed on injured reserve.

NFL personnel are prohibited from betting on games.

"If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football," commissioner Roger Goodell said in the league's release (via NFL Network's Tom Pelissero).

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Shaw, who previously played for the Bengals, Chiefs and Buccaneers, can apply for reinstatement no earlier than Feb. 15, 2021. He can appeal the suspension within three days.

The league was once stridently opposed to expanded wagering on games, but it has softened that stance (and looked to profit from that softening) since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional a federal ban on sports betting. The May 2018 ruling freed state legislatures to decide whether to legalize it. Before then, only Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana were permitted to offer bets on NFL games (they were grandfathered into the old statute), and only Nevada was permitted to take bets on individual NFL games.

NFL team owners made their evolution on the issue clearer when they approved the Raiders' move from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. The league, however, has yet to partner with a sportsbook, something MLB, the NBA and the NHL have already done. The NFL struck a deal with DraftKings (which operates a sportsbook) in September that made the company the league's official daily fantasy partner.

Former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle famously suspended Packers star Paul Hornung and Lions star Alex Karras for the 1963 season after discovering both men bet on games. Rozelle reinstated them a year later. Hornung played through the 1966 season, Karras through the 1970 season.

Colts quarterback Art Schlichter, in 1983, was the last NFL player before Shaw to be suspended for betting on games, per The Associated Press.