Jontay Porter

NBA Suspends Jontay Porter for Life After Gambling Investigation

The first big gambling punishment has been handed down by the NBA, who have suspended Toronto Raptors’ Jontay Porter for life for gambling against his team and disclosing confidential information to outside parties.

Porter, who is the younger brother of Nuggets’ star Michael Porter Jr., was on a two-way contract with the Raptors, and after a massive parlay and other bets on his unders were flagged, the league was notified.

Is Jontay Porter a fool? Unequivocally, yes. Everyone knows that you can’t do this. It’s quite literally the first rule about gambling. If you play the sport, or work for the league, you cannot gamble on it. It’s a simple rule, and he broke it. As a close friend so eloquently put it, “Idiots will be idiots and smart people will be smart.”

However, it’s hard not to think of the correlation between sports books and the leagues and media companies they set up partnerships with. Everything with sports nowadays is “sponsored by” or “presented by” Draft Kings, FanDuel, or some other gambling company. It’s not subtle. These partnerships generate hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars for all parties. I think it’s a bit disingenuous to completely disregard just how deep these corporations have dug themselves into the professional sports leagues.

Shams Charania, an NBA insider, has a sponsorship with FanDuel; and although Shams says he has never used his insider information to place wagers, we have seen FanDuel drastically alter lines based on his tweets. Is that not a concern? A Church and State sort of thing?

ESPN is the largest sports media company in the world and they have their own sports book. Does this not feel out of place? Does this not feel like an epidemic starting to take hold on this current generation? Is there a line? Have we crossed it already? Are we approaching it? Is there more to come? A lot of ethical questions arise from this, but I’m not sure there is a definitive answer on how to handle it.

You know how you hear stories of kids draining their parents credit cards for v-bucks on Fortnite? Why does it feel like we’re heading in that direction with gambling? Some 16-year-old kid sitting on League Pass having to explain to his mom why he just spent $200 on Lakers moneyline after it popped up on the side of the screen.

It’s a slippery slope.

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