Kosar Suit: NFL Betting Situation Cost Me Browns Radio Job

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NFL betting

A civil lawsuit filed by former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar in April alleges he was forced to place a $19,000 ceremonial NFL betting ticket with his own money by the BIGPLAY Network.

The wager, Kosar says, ultimately cost him his $200,000 radio job with the Cleveland organization.  

Kosar placed the $19,000 NFL betting ticket on the Browns to win their Jan. 8, 2023 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland lost, 28-14

He placed the bet on Tipico Sportsbook, a sponsor of BIGPLAY Network, after legal Ohio sports betting launched on Jan. 1, 2023

Kosar seeks damages over NFL betting

Kosar is seeking $850,000 in damages as part of the civil suit against BIGPLAY LLC. 

The NFL prohibits its personnel from betting.

The Browns’ pregame show pulled Kosar as an analyst as a result of the wager. He was then ultimately fired days later

Kosar apologized for NFL betting

At the time, Kosar apologized for his actions, saying that he would have donated the money to charity had the bet won. 

“I’m sorry I had to put them in this position,” Kosar said of the Browns and the NFL. “I didn’t want to put them in this position. But because I’m not an employee (I’m an independent contractor), I didn’t think this was going to be an issue. 

Kosar later continued: “In no way do you want to put them on the spot. And in no way was this done in the interest of benefiting us. It was 100% was going to help people and ex-players that really need it.”

Forced to bet with own money?

In the civil suit, Kosar says he agreed to make the ceremonial wager at a charity function as part of his pact with BIGPLAY Network. 

However, he alleges that as part of the agreement, he would “not be liable, nor responsible, for the amount of the wager nor will be entitled to any winnings that may occur as a result of the wager.”

Yet, according to Kosar, on the evening of the event, he was told by executives he would have to personally place the bet with his own money. He did, “in a show of good will.” 

Detailed allegations in civil suit

The civil suit states:

“Had Defendant BIGPLAY not wrongfully required Mr. Kosar to personally wager his funds on the TIPICO app on December 31, 2022, Mr. Kosar would have maintained his contract and compensation with the Cleveland Browns. 

“As a direct and proximate result of Defendant BIGPLAY’s breach of contract, Plaintiff has been injured and damaged in an of at least $650,000.00, for which Defendant BIGPLAY is liable, plus interest and costs.”

Kosar also alleges harassment

BIGPLAY Network co-manager Kendall Myles also verbally assaulted Kosar, the former Brown alleges. The alleged incident occurred in September 2023 at Burke Airport in Cleveland while the ex-signal caller was attempting to film a podcast. 

The civil suit states: 

“Defendant Myles invaded Mr. Kosar’s personal space, yelling at him so closely, he was spitting in his face, while threatening him, stating that Defendant Myles ‘owned him’ and Mr. Kosar had to do what Defendant Myles said. 

“Defendant Myles further threatened Mr. Kosar, screaming that he wanted to fight him, and threatening to hit Mr. Kosar.”