HomeSportsLions Teammate Offers Solid Defense for Jameson Williams Situation

Lions Teammate Offers Solid Defense for Jameson Williams Situation


Jameson Williams chats with Amon-Ra St. Brown on the Lions bench.

The Detroit Lions took a major offseason blow, losing wideout Jameson Williams for the first six games of the 2023 NFL season for a gambling related offense.

When Williams placed a bet on a non-NFL related event inside the team facility along with fellow wideout Stanley Berryhill, he violated a league protocol and both players ended up being suspended six games. Wideout Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore bet on NFL games, and were suspended indefinitely by the league. Both were released by Detroit.

Rules are rules, but even such, some folks aren’t sure that the players who got suspended for betting on non-NFL events should be punished so stringently while other major off-field events around the league are not punished nearly as much.

Lions fullback Jason Cabinda has that same feeling, especially after watching the league deal with more serious off-the-field events. As Cabinda says, while he doesn’t have a problem with the NFL rules on the matter, it’s a tough pill to swallow watching Williams get suspended while other players get less time for far more serious crimes.

“Don’t even have a huge issue with the rule it’s more about the repercussions that guys have gotten in the past for doing far worse being on the same scale as this… just doesn’t sit right,” Cabinda wrote on Twitter the afternoon of Friday, April 21.

It’s true that the league has an interesting standard for discipline. Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million in 2022 after he violated the league’s personal-conduct policy and was investigated after 24 women filed suit against him for sexual misconduct.

While it was certainly a stiff punishment from the league, the fact of the matter is, it was only five more games than Williams was suspended for a seemingly more innocent mistake as a rookie player.

As Cabinda points out, it might not be a bad idea for the league to crack down on non-NFL betting in the facility, but when compared with other situations around the league, the punishment for the crime may look more than a bit excessive.

Writer Wonders if NFL Hypocritical With Suspension

The league caught some heat in the aftermath of the news for the suspensions, because as many were pointing out, it’s hypocritical for them not to expect players to place bets with the current state of the league.

In the aftermath of the story breaking, The Athletic’s Mike Jones discussed how the league was being more than a bit hypocritical having so many partnerships with sports books. While that doesn’t excuse the player mistakes, Jones pointed out the elephant in the room involving the way the league has profited off gambling recently.

“But it’s impossible to review this incident without addressing the hypocritical nature of the NFL’s policies for players on gambling. It’s OK for the NFL to make billions of dollars off partnerships with legalized sports-betting companies (legal gambling was projected by the American Gambling Association to increase the NFL’s annual revenue by $2.3 billion per year). But players must abide by a different standard,” Jones wrote in the piece.

As Jones explained, it was also a major mistake for the players to not know better and be betting within the team facility. However, there may have been cultural implications behind why they were inundated with such thoughts in the first place, and the NFL could also be at fault for that.

Right now, legal sports betting has taken off across the country, and it’s hard for plenty of folks not to get wrapped up in that, much less NFL players, even if they should know better.

Jameson Williams Responds After Suspension

Williams and his camp wasted little time coming out with a response after the story. Alliance Sports, the agency that represents the Detroit wideout, quickly revealed a statement which explained some of the inner-workings of the decision.

Jordan Schultz of Score posted the statement, which confirmed that Williams was suspended for six games given he did not bet on football. Williams apparently placed a bet at the team facility, which was against the rules. Clearly, based on the statement, he feels remorse.

“Alliance Sports confirms that its client, Jameson Williams, has been suspended by the NFL for six games for violating the NFL’s gambling policy. Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates and the fans and city of Detroit. However, it is important to note that Jameson’s violation was not for betting on football but rather due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed – and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility. Jameson would never intentionally jeopardize the integrity of the game he loves so much and looks forward to getting back to his team as soon as possible,” the release read as Schultz showed in a tweet.

Williams will now be forced to sit and watch as his team starts the 2023 season without him on the field. In the case of Cabinda, it seems at least one teammate is in his corner on the matter.

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