by Aaron Wilson
August 01, 02013
The fallout from Philadelphia Eagels wide receiver Riley Cooper using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert that became public in a viral video is predictably having lingering effects in the locker room.
Especially with African-American teammates after Cooper used the 'N' word, later apologizing, being fined for conduct detrimental to the team and being mandated to undergo sensitivity training.
"I'll tell you one thing, if it was Andy Reid, he would have gotten more than a fine," one player told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
One player said he was done talking to Cooper going forward.
"The coaches are saying we should think team first, but this is just crazy," the player said. "Was he thinking about the team when he said that?"
Running back LeSean McCoy indicated he's lost respect for Cooper.
"I forgave Riley. It's new. Hopefully it wears off," McCoy said. "But at this point, I speak for myself and other teammates, it's definitely different. I didn't see too many people speak to him today. When something like that happens, you're like, 'Are you really the same person?' It's not a point where I'm [mad] at a person and I'll just say something racial. It's more anger at the person, not the race.
"I was definitely embarrassed. He was one of my good friends on this team, and I felt like it was a manner of thinking that the cameras were off, nobody's watching and that's when a person shows who they really are. And that's exactly what took place."
Another player weighed in to say: "If he's on the team, he's on the team. Don't mean I have to like him."
Will this incident divide the locker room?
Eagles coach Chip Kelly is worried.
"There could be a concern with that; yeah, there is a concern with that," Kelly said. "Not that there could be, but obviously, it's a very hot topic and that's why I encourage our group and our team. We talked about it last night at the team meeting. We have to have some open communication to make sure that everybody understands what went on and then what Riley's doing to atone for that."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.