The Controversial Viewpoint of Vontaze Burfict: Allegations of Rigged NFL Games Unveiled

Vontaze Burfict’s Controversial Comments on NFL Game Rigging

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Vontaze Burfict, the Oakland Raiders linebacker who is currently serving a season-long suspension in the NFL, expressed his dissatisfaction with the league’s handling of his punishment. However, what caught the attention of many, including gamblers, was his belief that at least some NFL games are rigged. The controversial statement adds fuel to the ongoing debate surrounding game integrity in professional sports.

Suspension’s Length Justification and Burfict’s Disagreement

Burfict’s suspension came after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end, Jack Doyle, during a match in Week 4. The NFL defended the lengthy suspension by highlighting Burfict’s prior offenses and the repeated violations of league rules. However, the linebacker feels aggrieved by the severity of the punishment, questioning why a football play had to result in him being benched for an entire season.

“I was making a football play,” Burfict stated in the interview. “I could see if it was a fine or something, but not a suspension, let alone for the whole season. It kind of seems like there was a target on my head. I mean, there has always been a target on my head.”

Burfict draws a comparison between his actions and those of Myles Garrett, the Cleveland Browns defensive end who recently hit Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet. While Burfict received a season-long suspension, Garrett has been suspended indefinitely. Burfict finds this inconsistency difficult to comprehend, further fueling his frustration with the league’s handling of the situation.

Perception of Unfair Treatment and the “Witch Hunt” Allegation

Diving deeper into the interview, Burfict expresses his belief that he is unfairly targeted by referees. Referring to it as a “witch hunt,” he suggests that the officials selectively enforce penalties against him. This perception of bias raises questions about the neutrality and consistency of refereeing in the NFL.

Rumblings of Rigged Games and Referee Influence

During the interview, Burfict drops a bombshell by stating his suspicion that some NFL games are rigged. He goes on to claim that referees intentionally decide when they want to throw flags, implying that their actions directly impact the outcome of games. This bold assertion may not sit well with the NFL and the sports betting community.

Burfict admits that he rarely watches NFL games anymore due to his belief in game rigging. While he does not provide specific examples or elaborate on his thoughts, his comments reflect a sentiment shared by disgruntled bettors who often attribute unexpected outcomes to unfairness rather than chance.

Impact on the NFL’s Game Integrity Efforts

Burfict’s accusation of rigged games comes at a time when the integrity of professional sports is under scrutiny, particularly with the expansion of legalized sports betting. All major leagues, including the NFL, emphasize their commitment to ensuring fair play and competitive equity. The NFL, historically cautious about its association with gambling, has been especially steadfast in protecting the integrity of its games.

The explosive statement from Burfict challenges the league’s efforts and raises concerns about public perception. The notion that games may be unfairly influenced can undermine fans’ trust and potentially impact the overall reputation and popularity of the NFL.


Vontaze Burfict’s interview with The Athletic not only highlighted his frustration with the handling of his suspension but also raised eyebrows with his claim that some NFL games are rigged. While his comments lack specific evidence, they contribute to the ongoing discussion about game integrity and referee influence in the league. The NFL, as a proponent of fair play and competitive equity, may face challenges in maintaining public trust if such allegations gain traction.


1. Are there any precedents of NFL games being rigged?

While there have been occasional rumors and allegations of game rigging in the NFL, no concrete evidence has been presented to substantiate these claims.

2. How does the NFL ensure game integrity?

The NFL takes several measures to ensure game integrity, including strict enforcement of rules, ongoing education for players and officials, and collaboration with regulatory bodies to address any potential threats to the fairness of the game.

3. Do referees have the power to influence game outcomes?

Referees play a crucial role in enforcing rules and making decisions during a game. However, the NFL has robust systems in place to ensure accountability and minimize the potential for referee bias or manipulation.

4. What consequences might Burfict face for his comments?

As Burfict is already serving a season-long suspension, his comments are unlikely to result in further penalties. However, his statements may impact his future prospects in the NFL and potentially affect public perception of him as a player.

5. How can the NFL address concerns about game integrity?

The NFL should continue to prioritize transparency, communicate its ongoing efforts to maintain game integrity, and address any valid concerns raised by players or fans. Regular feedback and collaboration with all stakeholders can help maintain the league’s credibility.

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Doug I. Jones

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