Bernie Kosar, a former NFL star who nearly led the Cleveland Browns to a Super Bowl appearance, has parted ways with the organization after placing a $19,000 bet on the team to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Kosar revealed before the Browns’ game against the Steelers on Sunday that he was told his services were no longer needed during the team’s pregame radio broadcast.
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“Steelers GameDay but once again I have been advised by the Browns that my services are no longer wanted or needed,” he tweeted about two hours before kickoff. “I will not be doing the radio show today. I am shocked and disappointed. Brown & Orange is my life.”
Kosar admitted on The Bernie Kosar Show w/ Hanford Dixon that he placed the $19,000 bet on the Browns to beat the Steelers in the game. He said the winnings would be donated to charity.
According to multiple reports, the bet was the reason the two parties parted ways. The NFL prohibits staff from betting on games although sports betting is legal in some states. Ohio was one of the most recent states to open up sports betting. Kosar and Pete Rose were among those who placed the first legal bet.
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Kosar was a pre-game radio host and team ambassador.
The Browns later released a statement on the matter.
“Earlier this week, we informed Bernie that, in accordance with league policy, we had to remove him from our pre-game radio coverage for the season finale after he violated the play policy of the NFL by placing a bet on an NFL game,” the team said. “We understand what Bernie means to this community and our story, but as a team, staff have been hired to deliver content on our media platforms, [his] betting was a violation of NFL rules and we must adhere to all NFL policies.”
He played nine seasons for the Browns from 1985 to 1993. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys midway through the 1993 season and later spent time with the Miami Dolphins.
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With the Browns, he had 21,904 passing yards and 116 touchdowns. He was a Pro Bowler in 1987.
The Steelers won the game, 28-14.