Kelly Responds To Tra Thomas’ Racism Claim

Howard Smith / USA Today

Howard Smith / USA Today

PHOENIX — Earlier this offseason, former Eagles assistant coach Tra Thomas suggested that race might have had something to do with the decisions Chip Kelly was making within the organization.

“One of the things that you’re seeing right now, and these are the things that you have heard from the locker room from different players is that … they feel like there is a hint of racism,” Thomas said on FOX, via

“Yeah, you have seven assistant black coaches, but only one black coach is over the segment. The other guys are assistants to the assistant coaches. Duce Staley is the only guy that’s head over his segment who is gonna be in charge of his group. The other guys are just assistants to an assistant coach.”

Today, at the owners meetings, Kelly was asked about Thomas’ claims.

“I didn’t really see it, but I heard about it,” he said. “I was just disappointed. We gave Tra a great opportunity. He came in on a Bill Walsh minority internship program. Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie was nice enough to keep him on for two years – one on offense, one on defense – [to] see if he could find a job in the NFL. So I hope Tra does find a job in the NFL. We don’t have a job open.”

Because Thomas said the racism conversations were happening inside the locker room, does Kelly think he should look into them?


Has anything race-related been brought up to him in college or the NFL?


And finally, a reporter brought up the Deadspin report that the Eagles are the whitest team in the NFL.

“I don’t look at the color of any player,” Kelly said. “I just look at how do they fit on our team. In 2015, I don’t think that’s something that’s ever come into my mindset.”