Am I wrong for thinking Riley Cooper shouldn’t be cut?


Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Riley Cooper made foolish, ignorant comments. And as I said yesterday, Cooper would have been a lock to be cut had Jeremy Maclin not torn his ACL. I also said that Cooper has a ridiculous amount to prove this year, and these comments only elevate that. But Cooper apologized, his teammates backed him, and the organization backed him. I feel like Cooper isn’t racist, but he was drunk and made an ignorant comment. That isn’t making excuses for Cooper because what he said wasn’t okay, but I don’t think he should be released for the comment.

Let’s first take a look at the statement from two of his African American teammates on that matter, beginning with Fletcher Cox.

"“I still trust him as a teammate. I still love Riley. I still look at him as one of my brothers.”"

Mike Vick followed up, and backed Cooper just like Cox did.

"“As a teammate I forgave him. I know Riley Cooper, I know him as a man. Hard to understand situation, but easy to forgive him.”"

The Eagles also backed Cooper by deciding not to release him and fining him instead.

"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."

Former Section 215 reporter Dan Klausner got the official apology from Cooper, prior to his presser.

"“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,” Cooper said. “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.”"

So Cooper has been fined, and made numerous apologies. Again it shouldn’t be a situation we forget, but it should be a move on and continue on with training camp. I’m not saying this because I’m white, but I just don’t believe that Riley Cooper is racist, and he is going to deal with a ridiculous amount of backlash for his comments.

I think instead we need to continue to re-evaluate what words are acceptable in our society. Ni**er is not an acceptable word for anyone in our society to use under any circumstance. Nigga, is a different word than Ni**er. Nigga means homie, bro, dude, etc. Nigga is an acceptable word for black people to say to each other, or call their white friends. White friends CANNOT turn around and call black people Nigga. Some people, especially those who don’t understand the hip-hop culture don’t seem to understand this, but Nigga truly is a different word than Ni**er. Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend made that clear during the recent George Zimmerman trial.

Riley Cooper is from Florida, and to be fair to him, the use of the word Ni**er is probably a little more prevalent in Florida than it is in South Philly. But there is a point where you put aside where you came from, and become a smarter individual person. Kanye West once said “I guess I should have forgot where I came from”. That kind of sums up Riley Cooper’s comments, because living in the South he may not have understood how bad the word is perceived in the rest of the country. But, there is a point where you put the south behind you and become an civilized adult in the 21st century.

So am I wrong for thinking Cooper shouldn’t be cut? I’m not black, and I have never had to deal with be called a Ni**er. I have been called derogatory names my entire life for having red hair, but that’s the closest way that I can understand what being called a Ni**er is. And I’ll be realistic, that isn’t the same. So if you are black, white, green, blue, whatever, and you believe that Riley Cooper should be cut, I can’t fault you.

I just look at the situation as Riley Cooper was blasted drunk and made an extremely ignorant, inappropriate comment. Is he racist? I don’t really know. I don’t know Cooper personally so I can’t give you that answer. The fact that a few of his African-american teammates backed him leads me to think that he probably isn’t and just made a terrible mistake that is unforgivable in the minds of many. And I can’t tell anyone that they have to forgive Cooper, but I think the Eagles properly handled the situation by not releasing him and making him apologize and truly deal with his actions.