Jameson Williams should absolutely not have his gambling suspension reduced

Despite easy calls for it now, Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams should not have his gambling suspension reduced.

It's easy to call for it now, but Jameson Williams should not have his six-game gambling suspension reduced.

With four players, headined by wide receiver Jameson Willliams, and a fifth player from the 2022 roster perhaps in the league's crosshairs, the Detroit Lions had and have acknowledged they had a problem with education about the NFL's gambling policy.

The broader reveal of the rules of said gambling policy have made it easy to think someone could run afoul of it without knowing they did. But everyone has the story of Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley as a reference point for things you shouldn't do. Ridley himself recently said players should "just stay away" from gambling.

Now this week, the NFL is upping its effort to educate about the gambling policy.

These six rules are the focus.

  1. Don’t bet on the NFL
  2. Don’t gamble at your team facility, while traveling for a road game, or staying at a team hotel
  3. Don’t have someone bet for you
  4. Don’t share team “inside information”
  5. Don’t enter a sportsbook during the NFL playing season
  6. Don’t play daily fantasy football

In Williams' case, we have learned he bet on an non-NFL game(s) while apparenly at the team hotel. Not betting on NFL games is why he got a six-game suspension, and not a one-year/indefinite ban like Ridley and two of his now-former teammates (C.J. Moore, Quintez Cephus) did.

Jameson Williams' gambling suspension should not be reduced

With the NFL's admission it needed to reinforce the rules of the gambling policy, it's easy to say Williams got screwed or his suspension should be reduced. Maybe he should take his chances with an appeal now?

In his first public comments regarding his situation about a month ago, Williams offered a flimsy plea of complete ignorance about the NFL's gambling policy. Much of what the league apparently originally sent to teams, and since outlined again, feels like common sense. Rule No. 2 from the list of six rules is more vague, as it deals with where someone can't bet. The inclusion of the team hotel as a banned location could be taken issue with.

Williams could appeal to have his six-game suspension reduced, or even eliminated, with the NFL's acknowledgement it needed to do better to inform about the gambling policy as the basis for his case. But his chances of success are pretty much zero, as that would require the NFL admitting a mistake.

Apparently without being explicitly told what he could gamble on (or where he could do it), it feels accidental that Williams didn't bet on an NFL game (and presumably, not a Lions game). Where he was when he placed said non-NFL bet(s) is fairly random circumstance, and that's what triggered the suspension. But he toed the line and crossed it enough to get a six-game ban, while randomly avoiding worse.

At minimum, Williams should have had some questions about gambling (what?, where?, etc.), and someone within the Lions' organization would have hopefully had answers. Ridley's headline-making case eliminates a plea of complete ignorance as credible.

So Williams' six-game gambling suspension should absolutely stay at six games. He is not getting screwed by the NFL's shortcomings here, and neither are the Lions.