Commanders DE Shaka Toney Suspended Indefinitely For Betting On NFL

Written By T.J. McBride on April 21, 2023
Shaka Toney suspension

The NFL announced Friday the indefinite suspension of Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney, who was found to be in violation of the league’s gambling policy by betting on the NFL. His suspension will last at least through the end of the 2023 season.

In addition to Toney, four players from the Detroit Lions were also were suspended in some fashion: 2022 first round pick Jameson Williams, receivers Quintez Cephus and Stanley Berryhill, and safety C.J. Moore.

Cephus and Moore also bet on the NFL and were suspended indefinitely. They were released by the Lions. Toney, Moore and Cephus can apply for reinstatement after a year.

The NFL announced that it found no evidence that would imply any inside information was used or that any of their games were compromised.

Williams and Berryhill received six-game suspensions for betting on other sports, but while in an NFL facility. Several Lions staff members were also found to be in violation of the policy.

NFL player gambling policy

The basic outline of these rules for NFL players is they are not allowed to bet on NFL games. NFL players are also not allowed to bet at all from, “any club or league setting,” as it is defined in the policy. NFL players are also not allowed to visit any physical sportsbook during the season.

That being said, players are allowed to wager on other professional sports so long as they are not in, “any club or league setting,” which is not true for any non-player league personnel.

That means NFL players are allowed to take advantage of legal gambling; so long as they are not at their place of work or betting on any NFL games.

Shaka Toney suspension will last at least one year

The Commanders released a statement following the announcement of the suspension.

“We have been made aware of the suspension of Shaka Toney. We have cooperated fully with the NFL’s investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions. All further questions on the topic should be directed to the NFL League office.”

Toney has appeared in 26 games over two seasons for the Commanders. He’s recorded 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his career.

FedEx Field home to Fanatics retail sportsbook

In January, the Commanders became the first NFL team to open a retail sportsbook in their stadium, opening the doors to Fanatics Sportsbook at FedEx Field.

At the time, it became the 10th retail sportsbook in the state, and first Fanatics Sportsbook in the nation. Sports betting in Maryland has been legal in person since December 2021. Online sports betting launched in the state on Nov. 23, 2022.

The Commanders also have partnerships with FanDuel and Bet365 in Virginia.

First NFL gambling suspensions since Calvin Ridley

This comes after former Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley was found in violation of the NFL’s gambling policy a year ago, leading to his year-long suspension.

Ridley was suspended for the 2022 season for betting on games. Now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was reinstated for the 2023 season after applying with the league. Even before Ridley, Josh Shaw was suspended for the 2020 season for betting on games during the season.

“There is nothing more fundamental to the NFL’s success — and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league — than upholding the integrity of the game,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote when announcing the suspension of Ridley. “This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, and anyone else employed in the league. Your actions put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL.”

Photo by Adam Hunger / Associated Press
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver, Colorado who covers the Denver Nuggets as a beat writer. His byline can be found across many websites such as ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report, and others.

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