Josh Shaw's Suspension

An NFL player betting on NFL games.

Jim Rome
December 03, 2019 - 10:26 am
Josh Shaw

USA Today


In one of the all-time legendary news dumps, the NFL announced on Friday, Black Friday, the day where everyone is either shopping or sleeping, that Arizona Cardinal Josh Shaw had been suspended through at least the 2020 season for gambling on football. 

And if you’re wondering – hey, is that the same Josh Shaw who was at USC and suffered two sprained ankles after jumping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year old nephew who was drowning in a pool, only for it to be later revealed that he completely lied about that story? Yep, that’s the same guy. 

And as weird and dumb as making up a story about saving a drowning nephew to cover for something else was, this one is even worse. 

How serious does everyone take it? So seriously that the league completely buried the story on Black Friday, because it’s their worst nightmare. And so seriously that Shaw got hit with a worse punishment than Myles Garrett. 

Again, Myles Garrett took off Mason Rudolph’s helmet and damn near brained him with it, and Josh Shaw is getting a longer suspension.

That’s how serious leagues take athletes betting on sports. It is the thing that scares them the most. If you gave the commissioners of the leagues a truth serum, they would rather have all their players up to their eyeballs in bull roids and hitting each other with what Joaquin would call “equalizers” on the field than have a single player betting on a game. 

Because participants betting on games goes to the integrity of the sport, it makes you think they might be rigged. And sports don’t work if people think they’re rigged. 

There is one rule that everyone knows in sports – if you are an athlete, you better not bet on sports. And you sure as hell better not bet on your own sport. 

But Shaw did that. And he went one step worse. Actually, a couple steps worse. 

According to ESPN, Shaw went to the Caesars Sportsbook on November 10th and made a parlay bet on the second halves of three Week 10 games. Now, the fact that an NFL player is betting on a one game is a red flag. The fact that an NFL player is getting exotic with it, with a three-team parlay on the second halves of games, is a parade of red flags.

And it gets worse. Because one of the games he bet on was Tampa Bay’s game. Okay, that’s not great, because last year, Josh Shaw played for Tampa Bay. So that is way too close for comfort. Actually, we blew past “way too close for comfort” a while ago. An NFL player betting on the NFL is way too close for comfort. An NFL player betting on a team he played for last year is insane.

But I know a bunch of you are going to jump out and say, hold up, Rome, if he’s betting on Tampa Bay to win, that’s not a problem. 

And to that I would say, hold on. The Buccaneers were one-point favorites in the second half. And the Buccaneers were playing…wait for it…the Arizona Cardinals.

So, if that reporting is correct and my understanding is right, Josh Shaw, who had been signed by the Cardinals and is on injured reserve with the Cardinals, bet against the Cardinals. 

That is the gold standard of what you do not do. 

This is a factory of red flags. 

And yes, I know that Shaw is on injured reserve and hasn’t played with the Cardinals, so maybe he was thinking that it wouldn’t matter, that he was barely a member of the Cardinals anyway. But that’s not how the league sees it. Nor should they. What they see is a guy who’s with the Cardinals betting against the Cardinals. And that is maybe the dumbest thing ever. Seriously, you cannot get dumber than that.

No, actually, you can. And Josh Shaw did.

Because sources told ESPN that when Josh Shaw filled out his application for a betting account with Casesars, he listed his occupation as “professional football player.”

Are you kidding me? I don’t know whether to respect the honesty or salute the idiocy. 

Between the nephew story and this one, I’m starting to think that Josh Shaw might not be the brightest guy ever. 

What NFL player goes to Las Vegas to bet on NFL games, decides to mix his own team into a three-team parlay, bets against his own team, and also includes on the application that he is a “professional football player”?

Did he sign it, “Josh Shaw Number 27 for Arizona”

Or was he walking around the sportsbook in a Josh Shaw jersey? Maybe wearing shoulder pads, some eye black, and a helmet, just so that everyone knew who he was?

And just for the record, this isn’t a reflection on the Arizona Cardinals, this is entirely a reflection on Josh Shaw. Because everyone knows that you can’t bet on games. And yet this guy didn’t just bet on them, he practically advertised that he was betting on them.

He couldn’t wait to tell the world that he was a professional football player betting on professional football games. 

And now he’s out of the league through next season and probably for life, either through suspension or the fact that no team will want to be associated with him. 

The next time you fill out a betting account occupation, you can just write “former professional football player” on that occupation line because you are never getting back into the league. 

Whenever there’s a situation like this, when someone is doing something like betting on games, you have to wonder if he’s a total rogue or if there are other guys like him. I have no idea if there are other NFL players betting on games. I hope not. But I guarantee that none of them are as dumb as Josh Shaw. He is in a league of his own. He is one of one. 

Take a bow, my man, because that is legendarily stupid. There is dumb and then there’s Josh Shaw dumb.