Bernie Kosar apologized for placing a legal Ohio sports betting wager on the NFL with Tipico that led to the ex-QB being pulled from the Cleveland Browns’ pregame radio show.
Kosar explained that he had no ill intentions when he wagered $19,000 on the Browns to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers after Ohio went live with legal OH sports betting on Jan. 1.
Had Cleveland won, Kosar said, the money would have went to a good cause.
“It was really a vehicle for me to raise money for charity,” Kosar said on the Bernie Kosar Show w/ Hanford Dixon, which is sponsored by Tipico, Monday night.
Kosar’s apology to Browns
NFL personnel are prohibited from betting. Kosar, however, said he was an independent contractor.
Nevertheless, Kosar was remorseful. The Browns lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 28-14, on Sunday.
“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 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.”
Silence on Ohio sports betting snafu
A Tipico PR rep did not respond to LSR when asked multiple times for comment. The Ohio Casino Control Commission issued the following statement to LSR:
“The Commission is aware of the situation involving Mr. Kosar, however, this is a violation of NFL policy.”
The commission has fined multiple OH sportsbooks for advertising violations. A spokesperson from the OCCC would not comment on whether the commission was conducting its own investigation on the incident.
“All sports gaming proprietors are required to comply with Ohio law and the Commission’s rules.”
NFL sports betting violations
Kosar, who wore No. 19 with the Browns, played with the franchise from 1985-93.
“Earlier this week we notified Bernie, that per league policy, we were required to remove him from our pregame radio coverage for the season finale after he violated the NFL gambling policy by placing a bet on an NFL game,” the Browns said in a statement, according to ESPN.
“We understand what Bernie means to this community and our history but as team contracted personnel hired to provide content on our media platforms, his bet was a violation of NFL rules and we must adhere to all NFL policy.”
In March, player Calvin Ridley, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was suspended for at least the 2022 season for betting on NFL games in 2021. In December, New York Jets wide receivers coach Miles Austin was suspended at least one year for violating the league’s gambling policy.