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Riley Cooper Caught on Tape Saying Racial Slur at Kenny Chesney Concert

Jul 31, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper (14) addresses the media concerning an internet video at the Eagles NovaCare Complex.  Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 6, 2017

During a Kenny Chesney country music concert at Lincoln Financial Field in June, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was caught on video saying a racial slur.'s Albert Breer has teammate LeSean McCoy's thoughts on the incident:

CSN's Geoff Mosher adds to that:

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also chimed in with his thoughts in this video.

Here's video of the incident courtesy of

Disclaimer: This video contains language that is NSFW.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 1:42 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo

From CSN Philly's Alec Nathan:

“You know we’re friends,” Tebow said after the joint practice between the Eagles and Patriots. “We’ve been close for a long time, so we’ll talk.”

“I haven’t gotten to see him yet today. I’m sure I’ll see him soon, but I was definitely praying for him.”

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 10:40 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

From's Albert Breer:

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UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 10:30 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

From ESPN's Chris Mortensen:

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UPDATE: Sunday, Aug. 4, at 2:05 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin


Riley Cooper made us aware of the tweets when the video became public. He told us that he did not know about the video.  He informed us he blocked the tweets because he did not know the person nor understand the context of what that person was threatening.  We promptly alerted NFL Security. This information potentially speaks to a legal issue that is a matter between Riley and the authorities. Our focus has been on Riley’s words and actions.

---End of update--- 


UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 2, at 3 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland

CSN Philadelphia's Geoff Mosher has the latest on Cooper's status with the team. 

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UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 2, at 2:35 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland

Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (who is one of Cooper's former teammates) responded to Cooper's comments, per Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News

---End of update---


UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 2, at 12:10 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland

The Eagles released a statement today regarding Cooper's status with the team:  

"As we have said, Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities. This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way. He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates."

Riley Cooper released the following statement:

"The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me. My actions were inexcusable. The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better. 
Right now, I think it's important for me to take some time to reflect on this situation. The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me for what I've done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time.
During this time I'm going to be speaking with a variety of professionals to help me better understand how I could have done something that was so offensive, and how I can start the healing process for everyone. As long as it takes, and whatever I have to do, I'm going to try to make this right."

---End of update---


UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 2, at 8:15 a.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland

ESPN's Ed Werder has the latest update on the Cooper situation, courtesy of Michael Vick

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UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford supplies Kenny Chesney's response to Cooper's comments:

Chesney reached out to ESPN senior writer LZ Granderson about the incident and said: "All I do is get off my bus and try to give the fans all the heart and passion I got. That's where it starts and stops; that's all I think about.

"I'm as shocked as anyone to see the video of Riley Cooper that's started circulating on the internet. I don't believe in discrimination in any form, and I think using language like that is not only unacceptable, it is hateful beyond words," Chesney told Granderson.

"I don't know everything about every player who comes to our shows. We invite the teams in the places where we play, and I've found the guys from the NFL are some of the most inspiring people I meet all year. They give back to their communities, work with children, hospitals and various charities, as well as raising awesome families.

"To judge an entire audience by one loud mouth isn't fair ... not to the NFL, not to the city of Philadelphia and that awesome crowd, not to my band and crew and certainly not to me, who believes music is about bringing people together for friendship and forgetting about the things in life that bring you down. The music I make is about living life, loving life and loving everybody -- no matter who they are. That's how I was raised, and what someone else does or says doesn't reflect who I am or what my fans stand for."

---End of update---


UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 1, at 4:15 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford reporter Jeff McLane supplies more on Cooper's situation with his teammates:

Despite several team leaders speaking out in support of Riley Cooper on Wednesday, there are many Eagles—the majority of them African American—that are having a difficult time accepting the wide receiver’s apology for using a racial slur, according to team sources. 

And there was one prominent Eagle that questioned the punishment—Cooper was fined— handed down by owner Jeffrey Lurie and new coach Chip Kelly.

“I’ll tell you one thing, if it was Andy Reid, he would have gotten more than a fine,” the player said on the condition of anonymity.

Another veteran Eagles player said that he could not get past Cooper using the n-word and that he didn’t think he would ever speak to him again.

“The coaches are saying we should think team first, but this is just crazy,” the player said. “Was he thinking about the team when he said that?”

---End of update---


UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 1, at 12:25 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow 

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports has more reaction from the Eagles on Riley Cooper and his future. 

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UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 1, at 11:35 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin's Albert Breer provides insight on a fine from the Eagles: 

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UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 1, at 10:10 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

ESPN's Adam Schefter and's Ian Rapoport have the latest from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell: 

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UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 8:15 p.m. ET by Eric Ball

Michael Vick commented on the situation, via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News:


Defensive end Fletcher Cox added his thoughts as well, via Jeff McLane of the The Philadelphia Inquirer

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UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 6:45 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

Cooper released a statement via reporter Dan Klausner:

I want to first start off by saying that I'm extremely embarrassed, extremely hurt, extremely sorry for my actions. I wanted to come out and tell you guys that. I've talked to Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie. I've talked to Howie Roseman. I've talked to Coach (Chip) Kelly, and explained to them the whole situation. I'm willing to accept any consequences. Once again, I'm extremely sorry.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 6:15 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

Philadelphia Daily News reporter Les Bowen adds more detail to the situation:

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UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 6:05 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

Pro Football Talk provides an update from the NFL:

Philadelphia Daily News reporter Les Bowen caught this quote from Cooper:

CSN's Geoff Mosher provides more from Cooper's side:

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 5:55 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford reporter Adam Caplan provides an official statement from the Eagles:

We are shocked and appalled by Riley Cooper’s words. This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society. He has accepted responsibility for his words and his actions. He has been fined for this incident.

---End of update---


Original Text

The 25-year-old Cooper, who has been with the Eagles for all three of his NFL seasons, was quick to make an apology to his team and fans via Twitter:



Cooper's eruption wasn't the only notable interaction of his on that night. Kyle Scott of Crossing Broad reports he was also involved in somewhat of a skirmish outside of the stadium before eventually taking the stage with country singer Chesney, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and several other teammates later in the night.

Cooper, who won two national championships at the University of Florida during the 2006 and 2008 seasons, was drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2010 draft.  

Last year marked his most productive season, as he pulled in 23 catches for 248 yards and three touchdowns even though he was forced to miss five games with an injury. In his three-year career, he has 46 receptions, 679 yards and five scores. 

While those numbers aren't staggering, Cooper's consistent improvement has made him the favorite to replace Jeremy Maclin, who is out for the season, opposite starter DeSean Jackson. Cooper has good size at 6'3" and 222 pounds, and he has the skill set to potentially emerge as a viable weapon in Philadelphia's offense.

It remains to be seen if the Eagles come forth with any official punishment for Cooper, but for now, nothing has been handed down. 

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