In interview, Sean Payton blasts NFL for ‘awful’ explanation of gambling policy

Jul 25, 2023, 6:19 PM | Updated: 6:21 pm

Sean Payton...

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Sean Payton’s first Broncos training camp begins this week — without defensive lineman Enyi Uwazurike. And the Broncos’ new head coach is furious about that — and about the vagaries of NFL disciplinary policies, particularly in regard to gambling.

Payton unloaded his frustrations to USA Today’s Jarrett Bell in an interview for a story published Tuesday.

“When you have a bunch of players getting D’s, you have to start looking at the message,” Payton told USA Today, referring to the the recent flurry of offseason suspensions for gambling-related activity. “And we’ve had a lot of D’s in our league this year with this policy.”

“… And we’re going to send them home for a year, where they can’t be around. The idea that you just go away, shame on us.”

Uwazurike cannot apply for reinstatement to the NFL until July 24, 2024.

But as for the message the league wants to send to players regarding the gambling policy, Payton shredded it. The USA Today story conveyed that Payton felt the material the league sent to teams to relay to players was too convoluted. Payton described it as “awful.”

So, he had Mark Thewes, the Broncos’ VP o football operations and compliance, work up a simplified version to convey to players and staff.

The message?

“You can’t bet on NFL football, ever, ever, ever,” he told USA Today. “I don’t give a (expletive) what it is. The other thing is, it’s the same as the gun policy. You can’t bet on nothing if you’re at your facility, your hotel, your airplane. So, wherever you can’t carry a gun, you can’t place a bet.

“… You can’t bring a gun to the parking lot … the team hotel … to training camp … to the stadium.”

And Payton – who served a one-year suspension in 2012 — didn’t spare the owners, either. Because while gambling on the NFL is forbidden, and gambling on other sports while at team facilities and on team trips is also banned, NFL teams continue signing gambling sponsorship deals at a frenetic pace.

“I know this: There’s a handful of owners that are owning these ‘problems,’ “ Payton told USA Today. “A player can’t have a share of DraftKings or FanDuel. It’s shameful. Embarrassing.”



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