Cooper Fined, Attempts To Explain Himself

Dressed in an orange polo, blue mesh shorts and flip-flops, Riley Cooper got behind the mic for six minutes, 31 seconds Thursday and tried to explain himself.

A couple hours earlier, an Eagles media relations staffer had shown him the video that captured the Eagles’ wide receiver saying he’d “fight every [N-word] here” while at a Kenny Chesney concert last month. Now, with the bricks of the NovaCare Complex as his background, it was time for Cooper to face the music.

“There was a confrontation with me and one of the security guards,” he said. “I’m not gonna get into what happened, but I said something that was absolutely disgusting and terrible. And I should not have handled it the way I handled it.”

Cooper later confirmed that the security guard was African-American and admitted that he had been drinking.

Before he spoke to reporters, he had already met with owner Jeffrey Lurie, GM Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly. The punishment had already been handed down: Cooper was fined “a good amount of money,” he said. But no suspension or other punishment is coming from the team.

“He said, ‘Go out and face this,’” Cooper said, when asked what Kelly told him. “And tell them exactly what you just told me, how sorry you are for what you said.”

Lurie released a statement through the team.

“We are shocked and appalled by Riley Cooper’s words,” he said. “This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society.”

While the Eagles have already decided on a punishment, Cooper will have to wait and see if the league takes any action.

“The NFL stands for diversity and inclusion,” an NFL spokesman said in an e-mail. “Comments like this are wrong, offensive, and unacceptable.”

Cooper’s biggest hurdle will be facing his teammates, something he has yet to do.

“It’s going to be very difficult for me,” Cooper said. “I’m gonna tell them I’m extremely sorry, tell them exactly what I’m telling you guys. There was a confrontation, and I just handled it extremely, extremely poorly.”

Asked if he has used the N-word in other instances, Cooper said, “I don’t use that. Like I said, I was raised way better than that.”

The Eagles are scheduled to practice again Friday afternoon. As Kelly continues on with his first training camp as an NFL head coach, his players will be peppered with questions about Cooper and his standing on the team.

“This is kind of the lowest of lows,” Cooper said. “This isn’t the type of person I want to be portrayed as. This isn’t the type of person that I am. And I’m just extremely sorry.”

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  • Jesse

    Ugh, what a racist idiot. I’m not really sure how he’s going to walk into the Eagles locker room, or any locker room in the league for that matter, after this. Really curious to see what Chip does after preaching accountability on and off the field…Oh, and cool shirt, too.

    • EaglePete

      was thinking same thing per locker room, what a moron. Good maybe now he can be odd man out, he was too slow with zero separation anyway.

      • AngryLib

        The man obviously has a lack of upside along with a lack of hip-swivel. He is of course a blue-collar bring your lunchpail to work kind of guy though.

        Regardless, we can’t let this sort of intolerance go unpunished!

  • G_WallyHunter

    other video of what looks like him getting into chirping with fans…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPMn7Trv8H4.. guys a joke get outta here

  • nicksaenz1

    Only time we’re relevant anymore. Dream Team, Dynasty, Riley Cooper. Predictions for next offseason’s headline boneheaded comment?

    • G_WallyHunter

      hmmm.. involving Cdub? probably.. he’s got a big mouth

  • Always Hopeful

    I don’t condone anyone using the N-word and I’m Black. There are differing views within the Black community about that word, but that’s another post for another forum.

    However, it’s in most hip-hop music that people of all colors sing along to. His statement is interesting, but I always wonder how many people who aren’t Black use that word in private anyway. He just happened to be caught.

    We all got some prejudice or racist in us anyway, honestly.

    • G_WallyHunter

      its the difference between the a and er to be honest, pretty stupid but that’s it…

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    Cmon Coop. relax would ya. no need for that talk

  • #7

    Damn Coop. I was pulling for you too smh

  • JamesDDl

    As stupid as it was, I bet he was trying to be funny/sarcastic – based on the racial makeup of the concert fans.

    • G_WallyHunter

      it seemed pretty damn passionate and genuine… like how is he honestly supposed to walk into the locker room lol, love how Watkins gets in his face right away and tells him to stfu… CANUCK REPRESENT!!

      • JamesDDl

        After looking at the video this morning, I agree. He was not trying to be funny.

  • Chris

    What kills me here is the context in which he used the word. You obviously were being disrespectful and racist, no way to play this one off as “joking between friends” or any other excuse (not that there really IS a valid excuse, in my mind). Agree with another poster, interested to see what Kelly does here. I also would like to know how long ago this was. If anyone knows, let me know.

  • EaglePete

    hahaha. please god no

  • Richard Colton

    to be fair, he said “fight” not “kill” and judging by the way he fights for open balls, nobody’s life was in any danger.

    • Dutch

      You are so wrong for that……………. that ish was halirious

    • Kash Dymé

      You mean Riley isn’t going to be our big red zone TD threat this year again?

  • EaglePete

    he said he would “fight”, why are you saying “kill”, thats a bit over board speaking of overblown. Not that I want to defend this clown for anything regardless

    • G_WallyHunter

      I just noticed this, excuse me, I edited lol. thanks… Ya I’m just feeding into the overblown with that mistake

  • Mr. Wu

    I figured he was just usimg the word like he was referring to an y “guy” but he just said he was directing it at a black security guard. No diguising that. Cooper will be cut.

  • James Scott

    I just looked at the video was he referring to the security people if so he does have a problem. Especially if they were all black; somebody should clothesline his A_ _ in practice maybe he will have a little more respect for african-americans in the future.

  • Token

    He should have been cut today. Not because of that word, but because of the stupidity and circus this will create.

    Chip has to show this isnt the lackadaisical Reid era anymore where inmates run the asylum. There will be punishment for being a moron. But looks like just a fine. IMO, the Kelly era is not off to a great start this offseason. Im just not impressed with how he has handled just about every decision thus far.

    Most will view these things as small and insignificant. I just dont see it that way. Basically I dont think Chip has a grip on this squad like I hoped he would. He seems far too easy going to workout here. Maybe if this team was just coached by someone other than Reid his methods might work. But many on the team have seem this type of coaching before.

    • Bill

      If you cut everyone in the NFL who used a racial slur in their life there wouldn’t be a league. People need to stop whining and grow up.

  • #NotGlfnyet

    The fact is that all races use derogatory words that within eir ethnicity in a light hearted manner. However, those that are not of their ethnicity basically can’t use those words. Sad but true

  • David

    Amazing how many people are trying to rationalize his comments. He wasn’t singing a hip-hop song, or casually chatting with his black friends who are comfortable with his using charged language—he used the word emphatically, repeatedly, THREATENINGLY, to a black stranger. Doesn’t get much worse. Only one interpretation of this: he’s a horrible racist who doesn’t deserve these stupid attempts to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Dutch

    I don’t condon vile and anti social rhetoric…… but judging by the fact Cooper still has all of his teeth in his head, it’s doubtful he said what he did within earshot of the bouncer.

    Worse beating I’d ever seen down at Veteran’s Stadium. Drunk white guy screaming Ni**e* at a black guy with his kid.

  • Dutch

    This ship has sailed. Overblown sound rather matter of factly. Sounds like people everywhere were offended, Blk, Wht and everything in between.

    The Eagles got a problem so long as this kid stay in their employ. Perception is everything to an Organization it’s associates and commercial partners. The Brand is in jeopardy.

    Within 15 minutes after that video surfaced this afternoon, Riley Cooper was Trending…… Civil Rights Advocates were tweeting comments from all corners of the United States. Under no circumstance can you have your employees insult and offend your customers.

  • bsn

    So when Lil Wayne or Rick Ross are talking about beating up/killing a ____ it’s ok just because its a song???

    • G_WallyHunter

      not saying its ok, like I said it perpetuates the use of the word, but just saying it’s completely different and obviously Lil Wayne or RR don’t intend on actually going and beating them up because it is their music, Riley did

  • Dutch

    Where does that leave the people who care less about the Eagles or football but are offended. In Philly, this isn’t so simple, causal or forgiving. The Eagles play in a Publicly owned facility, Cooper has a space in that facility. Some people across racial lines are outraged. We are going to have to see what happens in the next 24 hours that may take the attention off his blunder. Phila is home to rabble rousers and this may be a milkable situation.

  • AngryLib

    This man was clearly thinking un-PC thoughts and must be made an example of!! We will not tolerate intolerance! Someone’s feelings may have been indirectly hurt by this!!

    Get Obama on the phone and let him know one of his sons has been abused!

  • AngryLib

    This man has committed the cardinal sin of the western world. He has obviously been thinking politically incorrect thoughts and must be made to atone!!

    Feelings have been hurt and they cannot be unhurt!!

  • AngryLib

    Exactly. This guy should lose his job. Someone’s feelings may have been hurt and that is unacceptable in America.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Ya when you’re that stupid it’s worth considering because it speaks to a hell of a lot more than just one incident

  • AngryLib

    No this is America and you have to take others’ feelings into account. You can’t say those things here. We have laws for this sort of thing. it’s called a HATE CRIME.

    • Rufus

      What exactly was the criminal act and what is the penalty , from a legal standpoint?

  • BDAWKS

    I’m not saying it cool or okay to be racist but come on just like Paula Dean we have all at some point said it and I’m sure not saying it’smeant in a racial manor

  • BDAWKS

    Any race can be racist. It’s anytime yousegragate one race fromaanother you are creating racism

  • Warhound

    Racism occurs when one is trying to advance one group at the expense of all others or trying to keep one particular group down through differing treatment. Most people do not know the difference between racism and bias. If I say that green people are inherently more criminal than orange and purple people that would be biased; if I said that, therefore, they should be subject to different treatment by the legal system: that would be racism.

    • Andy124

      The only green person I know slept with Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

  • Warhound

    Yeah – a different group up in arms.

  • BDAWKS

    Anyone can be racist whether your race is in position of power or not is it racist when Chris rock calls white people crackers? Why can you have te national negro college found but not a college found fu 

  • Eagles4Life

    What you’re describing is an overt act by a group in a single neighborhood in the “wrong part of town.” Where in that hypothetical is there an outward demonstration made that exhibits power outside of their own confines??? By and large, they nonetheless don’t have the faculty to exert any type of political, economic, or social power.

  • Warhound

    Correct! Self segregation is evidence of a bias.

    • Eagles4Life

      Correct…and bias = prejudice. Not racism.

  • aub32

    It’s different. He’s a comedian. Louis CK says the N word. The context is completely different.

    • Kash Dymé

      Neat?

  • Explorer51

    Of course, you will have an opinion on what Cooper said but please don’t show your ignorance by claiming “freedom of speech.” The First Amendment protects freedom of expression which, of course, includes speech but this right allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government…it has nothing to do with someone angrily and stupidly saying something that’s hateful and hurtful. Which, btw, is enough of a reason in a civil society to not say or do something…particularly when many of your co-workers, as well as the public, will take offense. And to the yahoos who claim that “it’s not a big deal if someone is offended” I’m sure that if an individual made angry, ugly remarks about you or your family you would think differently. Another btw, words like this have been characterized as “fighting words” in a legal sense and this category is also not protected by the First Amendment. You can Google this if you’re interested.

  • Kash Dymé

    You mean the “C” word?

  • G_WallyHunter

    I’ve been trying to stop it lol

  • Always Hopeful

    I’m really not trolling. I haven’t seen the video of the incident, so I may feel differently about if I saw it. What I’m trying to do is bring it wider than Mr. Cooper. It’s 2013 but we still live in America as KRS-One said years ago “land of the thief, home of the slave”. As Americans of different hues, we have post traumatic stress disorder when it comes to race. We got some deep wounds that we don’t know how to heal. Riley Cooper is a result of those wounds. Forgive me for just trying to have us think about this a little differently.

  • KobraKai7474

    Maybe, but it is not Ike Reese’s decision to make. It is the guys in the locker room who have to go to war with Riley Cooper who need to decide. It may well be that his teammates… white and black… know Riley Cooper well enough to say, “this is a good man who did a stupid thing and I forgive him”, and, if that is the case, I am fine with it and am willing to close the book on it. However, maybe, just maybe, the rest of the Eagles know a Riley Cooper that we don’t and maybe that Riley Cooper is a lot like the moron who yelled the N-word at a concert.

  • UKEagle99

    I’ll double Marcus Vicks bounty if it’s one of our safties, been a while since our secondary had teeth.

  • Dutch

    When Rush Limbaugh was associated with CBS and the NFL and he made those remarks about McNabb how fast they cut ties with him is the precedent. Jimmy the Greek is another example of chatting up unacceptable rhetoric. Cooper isn’t the first nor will he be the last, but the precedent on how to move forward has been set and that’s cutting ties with the individual who chose unfortunate rhetoric to express themselves. In the NBA, Time Hardaway was another who buried himself with his mouth and what came out of it in talking about Gays.

    Brain farts that result in racial epithets is an equal opportunity career terminator.

  • Dutch

    That’s not true, racial epithets are unacceptable in the workplace, or for public figures useage. The Eagles issued a strong statement condemning Riley’s choice of words and conduct. The NBA and NFL have immediately cut off any association with individuals who in the past have breached their inclusion policy and threaten their professional environment with hostile & offensive rhetoric.

  • G_WallyHunter

    Great point, agreed. Do the teammates just brush it off because they know him well enough? or does it confirm their suspicions that he’s already a D-bag racist?
    We will wait and see

  • UKEagle99

    I’m sure CK was like “I don’t remember having Absinthe put in your post workout shake”.

  • Dutch

    I saw a kid in Cancun singing the term in some song. I’m never comfortable with hearing the phase. This kid was overboard with slinging the term in Mexico. The Federalies heard him repeating the term in the chorus. They became offended maybe because they notices some African Americans near by, those Mexican police officers 6 of them, beat the snot out of that kid and a could of his friends. I seen that kid no more over the 4 days I was at that resort.

    Everybody who respects dignity, decency and civil communications is offended by the term under any condition and find it rude and unacceptable.

  • Dutch

    I’ve heard Damaris described as “Uncoverable” in this camp. Damaris is making noise and creating waves down at Novacare, as is Polk. Polk is getting second team reps and Brown is running with the third team.

  • Bill

    We could definitely use another manlet at receiver. How can they cover what they can’t see?!

  • Andy124

    Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia are sources I thought you might prefer, since you are so desperate to reject the actual definition of the word.

    Do you realize that you are on the internet, and any credentials you claim to have carry no weight? You have no credibility beyond the words you type eagleeye, and I gotta tell you, you’re not doing so hot when you claim that something as extreme as believing in the innate superiority of someone’s race does not constitute racism.

  • James Scott

    Don’t get me wrong I really don’t condone to violence but football is a violent sport. If you read my previous post; players will be offended no doubt all the apologies in the world won’t change what he said, he might as well talked about your mother which usually results in a punch in the mouth.