Eagles Teammates React to Riley Cooper Situation

Everyone and their mother knows about Riley Cooper’s racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert this past June; it is the news that has been dividing Philadelphia Eagles nation for the past week or so. Yesterday, Cooper took a leave of absence from training camp to undergo counseling and will likely miss a preseason game or two.

In the wake of this troubling situation, here is what his coach and teammates had to say:

CHIP KELLY: “This is an issue that ‘can’t be swept under the rug,’ but is an important issue that we all need to address . . . when we were young and grew up, we heard, ‘sticks and stones will break our bones but words can never hurt us,’ but that is not true. Words can hurt. And I think we all should watch what we say, because your words have an impact.”

McCoy has been especially critical of Cooper (via

LESEAN MCCOY: “I can’t respect a guy like that.” Well, boom goes the dynamite. But that’s not it:

“Ain’t nothing to prove. He said how he felt. He’s still a teammate. I’m still going to block for him. I’m still gonna show great effort. Just on a friendship level, and as a person, I can’t really respect somebody like that. I think as a team, we need to move past it. There are some things that are going to be hard to work with, to be honest . . . when a person thinks that the cameras are off and nobody is really watching, you let your true side come out.” (via CSNPhilly)

JASON KELCE: “Anyone who knows him knows he’s not a racist person. So it’s very easy for guys to be forgiving to him.” (via ABC)

MICHAEL VICK: “As a team we understood because we all make mistakes in life and we all do and say things that maybe we do mean and maybe we don’t mean. But as a teammate I forgave him. We understand the magnitude of the situation. We understand a lot of people may be hurt and offended, but I know Riley Cooper. I know him as a man. I’ve been with him for the last three years and I know what type of person he is. That’s what makes it easy, and at the same time, hard to understand. But easy to forgive him.”

When Vick’s brother, Marcus, took to Twitter to place a “bounty” on Cooper’s head, he responded, “I don’t agree with what my brother is saying. Riley is still my teammate and he just stood in front of us and apologized for what he said. Somewhere deep down you’ve got to find some level of respect for that.”

JASON AVANT: “I can take it for face value and say, ‘Oh, that’s the person.’ Or I can judge the man’s character from the four years I’ve known him and the way he’s treated people around our building,”


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Categories: Beat Writing, Eagles

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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