Cooley's Web site has ads for gambling industry

Chris Cooley doesn’t have any pictures of his playbook on his blog this time. He’s not going to get in trouble for a snapshot of his junk, either.

Last season, he exposed more than the Washington Redskins playbook when he snapped a photo of it sitting in his naked lap, and then posted it on his Web site. You know how well that went over.

Cooley underwent successful surgery this morning to have three pins inserted into his right ankle, according to his brother Tanner’s Twitter account, and he might hear from the NFL soon when it comes to the companies advertising on his blog through the banner at the top. The popular tight end has a popular Web site—The Cooley Zone—and at the top of the page Tuesday when a reporter went looking for news on Cooley’s injury was an ad for an online gambling site——with a convenient button to click that read “Bet Now.” The ad was in a banner that rotated various businesses including another with a gaming interest—the Las Vegas hotel and casino Mandalay Bay.

The NFL goes out of its way to distance itself from gambling interests, with the exception of the state lottery deals that were approved this season. The league aggressively fought the plan in Delaware for parlay betting as a means to raise tax revenue. The league strictly forbids players from associating with those that care about things like point spreads and over/unders.

Cooley’s online involvement with businesses in the gaming industry is in direct violation of the NFL policy if you take the standard NFL contract by the word. Paragraph 15 addresses integrity and states that the player acknowledges that if he “knowingly associates with gambling or gambling activity” the commissioner will have the right to fine the player, suspend the player for a certain period or indefinitely or terminate his contract.

Surely, Cooley has control over ads on his own Web site and had to know what companies would be appearing in ads on his Web site. He’s heavily involved in charitable and philanthropic endeavors in Washington, he sells some T-shirts and memorabilia and he generates great fan interest. He’s to blogging what Chad Ochocinco is to Twitter. Perception, unfortunately, becomes reality in these instances. When it looks like Cooley is associated with a gambling entity, he is associated with a gambling entity. That’s not something the league has ever taken lightly.

“We don't believe that more gambling on our players and games is healthy for the sport,’’ NFL spokesman Joe Browne told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year in reference to the situation in Delaware.

We doubt the league believes it’s healthy for players to take advertising revenue, no matter how much, from companies in the gambling world.

Follow me at Twitter: BradBiggs

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