The Browns continue to live up to their reputation as one of the worst franchises in professional sports.
Browns legend Bernie Kosar has been fired from his radio gig with the team after he placed a legal $19,000 sports bet with a licensed Ohio online sportsbook.
According to reports, Kosar bet the amount, which corresponded to the No. 19 he wore during his career with the team, at the Tipico Sportsbook. It was on the Browns to win.
Despite not being a player or coach, Kosar is considered an insider by NFL rules, and thus prohibited from wagering. Still, the sportsbook took his bet.
Any profit from the wager was going to go to charity, according to Kosar.
“We understand what Bernie means to this community and our history,” the team said in a statement Sunday night, released after the Browns lost 28-14 to finish the season. “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.”
Kosar, a former quarterback, played collegiately at the University of Miami where he led the team to a national championship in 1983. He later played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns from 1985 to 1993 and the Dallas Cowboys (1993) and Miami Dolphins (1994 to 1996). He was the backup quarterback on the 1993 Cowboys team that won Super Bowl XXVIII.
“I was informed by the Browns that my services are no longer desired or needed,” Kosar wrote on Twitter. “I will not be doing today’s radio program. I am shocked and disappointed. Brown and orange is my life.”
Following the start of sports betting expansion across the U.S. in 2018, the league issued an updated gambling policy document.
“The NFL is strongly committed to maintaining the integrity of the NFL, its games, Clubs, players, coaches, and other League and Club personnel. Gambling, particularly on NFL games or other sports, presents potential risks to the integrity of our competition and can negatively impact team cohesion. We therefore owe it to our fans and everyone associated with our League to take all appropriate steps to safeguard our game against possible threats from illegal gambling as well as gambling in a legal, regulated context.”