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Instant reactions to suspension of Jameson Williams, 3 other Lions players for gambling

Breaking down the fallout from the suspensions of four Detroit Lions players for gambling, including 1st-round pick Jameson Williams.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL dropped a bombshell on Friday morning, announcing the suspensions of four Detroit Lions players and one Washington Commander for gambling.

In Detroit, that meant that safety C.J. Moore and wide receiver Quintez Cephus were handed indefinite suspensions because they were found to have gambled on NFL games. The Lions responded by releasing both players.

The potentially bigger news is that Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill were given six-game suspensions for gambling on non-NFL games. The Lions did not cut either player and both are eligible to participate in the team’s offseason program all the way through and including preseason games.

Minutes after the news hit, myself, Erik Schlitt, and Chris Perfett jumped on a Zoom call to discuss the news, analyze the impact of the suspensions, and talk about the morality of the NFL’s strict gambling rules while also taking in millions of dollars from gambling companies.

It’s a complicated issue and yet another sign of possible immaturity from Williams. But are people being overly harsh on the 22-year-old receiver, when a veteran like Moore absolutely should have known better?

And how much is to blame on management, especially considering that several team employees were also let go for gambling? That, to me, is my main takeaway. Here’s one of my closing thoughts from the podcast:

“Everyone should have already had this message drilled into their heads, but now it’s gotta be there. Because the Lions can’t make stupid mistakes like this when they’re in a position with everything to lose. When you’re a 3-14 team and suck, great, this is a fun headline they can throw on ‘The Tonight Show’ and make jokes about.

“You’re a real fricken team now. You cannot make these mistakes. If we’re going to hold Sheila (Hamp) in high regard, if we’re going to hold Brad (Holmes) in high regard, if we’re going to hold Dan (Campbell) in high regard, you cannot afford mistakes like this. So this better be the last damn time I hear about it.”

You can listen to the whole discussion on Spotify here, or watch it below:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.