Calls From Teammates/Fans To Free Calvin Ridley From Lengthy Suspension In Light Of “Lax” Watson Suspension

NFL: Atlanta Training Camp
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As reactions to Deshaun Watson’s suspension continue to pour in across social media, many have made comparisons to the year-long suspension that Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was issued by the National Football League. Many believe that Watson should have been given a longer suspension in light of Ridley being issued a suspension that lasts throughout the entire 2022 season.

Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson gave his reaction on Twitter to the Watson news and advocated for the release of his teammate. “Free my dawg!!” Patterson said.

Saints podcaster Chris Rosvoglou also took to Twitter, stating that the Watson ruling was “ridiculous” and hinted at the NFL being inconsistent with its suspensions.

Outkick’s Clay Travis tweeted in response to Watson’s suspension, comparing it to MLB’s Trevor Bauer who received a 324 game suspension for non-criminal sexual assault allegations.

“Trevor Bauer got a 324 game MLB suspension–two years–for non-criminal sexual assault allegations. Deshaun Watson, so far, got six NFL games for 30 women’s non-criminal allegations. Bauer’s suspension will cost him over $60 million, Watson’s suspension will cost him $300k.”

The NFL announced on March 7th that Ridley had allegedly gambled on games over a five-day period in November 2021 when he was on the non-football injury list to address his mental health issues. Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Ridley of his suspension via a letter.

“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. 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. For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions.”

No evidence was revealed in regards to the NFL’s investigation into Ridley potentially using inside information to bet on games, or “that any game was compromised in any way”.

The NFL now has three days to decide whether appeal the suspension. A general manager in the NFL allegedly spoke to ESPN’s Dianna Russini and stated, “The league wants to hold their players to high standards. Image is critical to keep growing the female fan base. I’d be surprised if the NFL doesn’t appeal for that reason.”