Browns’ Legend Kosar Files Lawsuit Against Former Employer Over Forced NFL Bet

06/14/2024
Industry
USA Legal Betting news

Highlights

  • Kosar lost his job with the Browns after placing a charity bet on the team
  • BIGPLAY is alleged to have forced Kosar to place the bet
  • All proceeds from the wager would have gone to the charity

The NFL’s betting rules have taken center stage in a new lawsuit brought on by Browns’ legend Bernie Kosar.

The former quarterback filed a lawsuit against former employer BIGPLAY media, his former employer. Kosar accuses the company of forcing him to place a $19,000 bet on the Browns using Ohio Sportsbooks during a charity event. The bet was placed using Kosar’s money, but he alleges that BIGPLAY assured him he would not be violating any rules in doing so, since he would not take in any winnings.

After Kosar placed the bet, it was brought to the attention of Kosar’s other employer, the Cleveland Browns. The former quarterback was an analyst for the team but was fired after news of the bet came to light. According to the Browns and the NFL, no team employees can wager on the league’s games on betting sites. That is especially true for employees betting on their own teams, which Kosar did at the charity event.

“I’m sorry I had to put them in this position,” Kosar said of the BIGPLAY bet. “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 lost the analyst job, costing him a salary of around $200,000. He is suing BIGPLAY media for damages around $650,000, which includes the loss of that salary.

BIGPLAY and Kosar Had Issues Before Bet

The lawsuit being brought by Kosar shows the bet was not the first time these two sides have allegedly bumped heads. It alleges that BIGPLAY co-manager Kendall Myles threatened to hit the Browns’ legend last September. While details around what prompted the threat has not been made public.

Myles is the same BIGPLAY employee alleged to have forced Kosar into making the bet, ensuring him it wasn’t a violation of the NFL’s sports betting policy.

NFL Decision Shows Zero Tolerance Policy

While we only have Kosar’s side of the story, it shows how strict the Browns and NFL are taking the league’s sports betting policy. We have seen players, coaches, and team employees be suspended or banned for betting, but the Kosar situation is unique.

Given that the bet was placed publicly and on behalf of charity, it was clear the Browns’ legend was not betting for his own profit. In fact, he didn’t even have a say as to how much was bet and on which game. Any winnings would have gone to the charity (the bet lost), meaning all Kosar was doing was (attempting) to give money to charity.

While BIGPLAY isn’t a sports betting operator, they are sponsored by Tipico Sportsbook, which the company had Kosar use to place his ill-fated wager.