Recent video obtained through CrossingBroad.com (warning: offensive language) of Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper shouting a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert has put the fourth-year pro in some serious hot water.
Cooper may have apologized to his teammates and the media on Wednesday, but all is definitely not forgiven, despite what quarterback Michael Vick had to say publicly to Jim Corbett of USA Today. In reality, many of Cooper’s teammates will have a hard time ever trusting him again.
Some teammates have spoken out against Cooper already, such as running back LeSean McCoy, who told NFL Network's Albert Breer that he "can't respect a guy like that." Defensive back Cary Williams told Jim Corbett of USA Today that he's "angry," noting that there were "several other words he could have said" that would've been less hurtful.
Corbett also reported the following: "Receiver Riley Cooper spent much of Thursday's practice standing alone, isolated from teammates when he wasn't participating in first-team repetitions."
It is not so much about the specific slur that he used; rather, it is about the malicious manner in which he used it. What his teammates will have trouble getting over is that in a conflict with an unknown man, he decided to turn his anger into a boisterous declaration of violence against an entire race of people. That race just so happens to make up the bulk of his Eagles brethren.
You can be sure that his teammates will be wondering why he suddenly wanted to fight any available black person in the entire concert. They will know that his anger toward one black man in that moment was redirected toward any and every black man around, which could easily have been one of the several black guys he sits next to every day at the facility.
Remember, locker room chemistry is extremely important.
UPDATE: August 2: the Eagles have released a statement through their website regarding the status of Riley Cooper 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.