CFL suspends recently-retired DL Shawn Lemon for betting on games

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved

The CFL has indefinitely suspended recently-retired CFL defensive lineman Shawn Lemon for betting on games, including one in which he played.

According to an investigation conducted by the league, the wagers were placed in 2021 while Lemon was a member of the Calgary Stampeders. The league claimed it found irrefutable evidence of Lemon placing bets but indicated there was no evidence the games were impacted by his wagering.

“The integrity of our game is of the utmost importance. Any other factors — career performance, actions in the community, timing, frequency or size of wagers — hold no weight when the legitimacy of the CFL can be called into question,” said CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie in a statement.

“It is our responsibility as a league to investigate and address such abnormalities, and it is our collective duty, along with our teams and players, to ensure that sports wagering in no way impacts the quality nor standing of the CFL. We will continue to work with our authorized gaming operators, partners, and stakeholders to hold our game to the highest standard.”

3DownNation has requested comment from Lemon and this article will be updated if he provides one. It is believed that this marks the first time in CFL history that a player has been suspended for wagering on games.

The 35-year-old native of Charleston, S.C. announced his retirement on April 10, ending a 13-year career during which he was twice named a divisional all-star, once named a CFL all-star, and won three Grey Cups.

The six-foot-one, 242-pound edge rusher appeared in 148 regular season CFL games with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Edmonton Elks, Ottawa Redblacks, Calgary Stampeders, Toronto Argonauts, B.C. Lions, and Montreal Alouettes, recording 237 defensive tackles, 101 sacks, 30 forced fumbles, and three interceptions.

The Stampeders released a statement following Wednesday’s news.

“The Calgary Stampeder Football Club is surprised and disappointed by the revelations of the Canadian Football League’s investigation into Shawn Lemon’s sports wagering activities,” it read.

“The Stampeders unequivocally support the CFL’s policy on gambling and condemn the actions for which the player in question has been sanctioned. The Stampeders echo CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s comments about the utmost importance of preserving the integrity of the sport and the league.”

The Montreal Alouettes, the team with which Lemon was under contract before his retirement, also released a statement.

“The Alouettes were recently made aware of the CFL’s investigation regarding an issue involving Shawn Lemon that took place in 2021. Additional information was made available to the club upon the completion of the league’s investigation in recent days. The team fully supports the CFL’s rules on gambling. As a result of this investigation and the league’s ruling, we have suspended Shawn Lemon indefinitely.”

3DownNation reported on the league’s match-fixing policy from Grey Cup this past year. The article can be found here.