Pete Rose Says If He Bet on His Own Team Today 'Nobody Would Think Anything of It'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 20, 2022

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 09: Pete Rose attends the 19th Annual Harold and Carole Pump Foundation Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 09, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Harold and Carole Pump Foundation )
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Harold and Carole Pump Foundation

Amid MLB's increased embrace of legalized sports betting, baseball legend Pete Rose spoke about what he believes to be a contradiction between that partnership and his continued exile.

Colorado Rockies star Charlie Blackmon signed an endorsement deal with MaximBet, making him the first active MLB player to partner with a sportsbook. 

Rose told Sportico's Barry M. Bloom he has "no problem with what Charlie's doing."

"There's nothing illegal in that, is there? It's just the perception, like when I was caught," the 17-time All-Star said. "I just came along at the wrong time. I made a mistake, and I paid for it. I bet on my own team to win. If I was around today nobody would think anything of it."

Since Rose received his lifetime ban from baseball in 1989, there's no question the landscape has changed dramatically when it comes to sports betting.

When the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, it opened the floodgates. States could begin writing their own laws regarding sports betting, and leagues would inevitably seek to collect their share of the pie. The money and endorsements would funnel down to the players, too.

Still, a clear line exists between what Rose did and players such as Blackmon formally partnering with betting companies.

MLB's Rule 21 expressly forbids a player, umpire, team official or league representative from betting on the outcome of games.

"Any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform, shall be declared permanently ineligible," the rule goes on to say.

Even in the current climate, a player or coach gambling on games is a cardinal sin. In the NFL, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for at least the 2022 season after he was found to have placed parlays on multiple games.

While Rose seems to believe his infraction has only become more benign over time, he ultimately compromised the integrity of the game. It was wrong in the 1980s, and it remains wrong despite the wider proliferation of sports betting.