Chris Cooley to Skip Commanders Ceremony: 'Don't Have a Lot of Desire' to Be Involved

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 20, 2022

ASHBURN VA AUGUST 13: Washington Redskins' tight end Chris Cooley  runs down field after making a catch on day 13 of training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn VA  July 30 2012 (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former Washington Commanders tight end Chris Cooley isn't planning on attending an upcoming ceremony honoring legends of the franchise.

"I don't have any interest in doing this," Cooley said Wednesday on The Kevin Sheehan Show (one-hour mark). "I'm very appreciative of being voted in and I'm very appreciative of my time when I was there with [Washington]. At this point, I don’t have a lot of desire to be involved with the Washington Commanders."

The 40-year-old spent nine seasons in the nation's capital and was a two-time Pro Bowler. He's fifth all-time in receptions (429) and ninth in receiving yards (4,711).

In June, the Commanders announced they were going to add 10 more players to their list of greatest ever, bringing the overall total to 90 to coincide with their 90th anniversary. Cooley was among those to make the cut.

Washington Commanders @Commanders

The new additions to our πŸ—πŸŽ 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 πŸ‘ <a href="https://t.co/hFhl8vODP5">pic.twitter.com/hFhl8vODP5</a>

Many will see Cooley's decision to distance himself from the organization as a reflection of the current dysfunction in which the Commanders find themselves mired.

The NFL removed Daniel Snyder from day-to-day duties as team owner in July 2021 following an investigation into Washington's workplace culture after allegations of sexual harassment, verbal and emotional abuse and a generally toxic environment within the franchise. ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham and Tisha Thompson reported the outside perception is that little has changed inside the franchise.

The ESPN report also alleged Snyder used private investigators to unearth unflattering information about other NFL owners, coaches and team executives, a claim the team denied.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was the first to publicly say removing Snyder from the NFL ownership ranks is something at least worth considering.

With all of the off-field drama, the Commanders continue to be a mess on the field as well. They're last in the NFC East at 2-4 and look destined to miss the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.