Like many NFL teams, the Washington Redskins are struggling to pull in enough cash to pay their players their multi-million dollar salaries.

So how are they going to bridge the gap? By signing a licensing deal with the Virginia State Lottery to lend the team's brand to the state's efforts to sell lottery tickets to those who can least afford them.

"We envision a game that will link lottery fans with the Redskins in new and exciting ways," Redskins chief operating officer Mitch Gershman told the Associated Press.

I remember when I was about 10, Boston Celtics lottery tickets started popping up in convenience stores, and I was intrigued -- as were a lot of my friends. We were Celtics fans!

Just as the United States government went after Joe Camel for using marketing tactics that target children, state lotteries should have the decency not to co-opt children's heroes to try to sell lottery tickets.

The NFL voted on Wednesday to allow teams to sign licensing deals with state-sponsored lotteries, and the New England Patriots were the first team to take them up on it.

Economic cycles come and go, but character and integrity are forever. The NFL, the New England Patriots, and the Washington Redskins should be ashamed for lending their logos to crass marketing efforts to sell even more Lottery tickets to even more people at a time when fewer people than ever can afford to pay the lottery.


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