What type of impact would a game fixing scandal have on the National Football League? If Ray Lewis was accused of and proven to have fixed games, what would that do to fan confidence? It would likely plummet, and the NFL would suffer dire consequences such as loss of season ticket holders, loss of TV contracts, and more.
Fortunately, the chances of such an event occurring is unlikely due to the NFL’s policy against gambling. For those of you that don’t already know the policy, the NFL essentially bans all players as well as referees and NFL office personnel from gambling in any form.
While this seems a bit extreme, they are hoping to avoid their players from being put in a spot where they are asked to fix a game in order to pay off gambling debts. Just to be clear, a game fix does not mean that a team loses the game. It could be as easy as line manipulation. A missed tackle could lead to a team only losing by 10 instead of 17. That may not be a big deal, but if the line was at 14, it could mean Millions.
The NFL does make one exception to this policy and that’s where charity poker tournaments are involved. These types of events raise money for worth causes and the money goes to charity as opposed to the players. As such, there is no risk of gambling.
With that said, the NFL snubbed an event last year because it was held inside a Las Vegas casino. The temptation in that case was apparently too great to ignore.
While we know that Ray Lewis and the Ravens would never fix games, a policy like the NFL’s gambling policy is in place to protect all teams and future players. While NFL players are grown men, some are still young men that need guidance and this type of policy helps them make the right decisions and help to protect the integrity of the league.