Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 8/5/13
The most recognizable name on the Philadelphia Eagles' roster right now is receiver Riley Cooper. Cooper might have the hateful heart of a bigot ‒ that's the way he is being treated ‒ or, he may be guilty of no more than dumb jock behavior while his brain was high on something other than life. Without minimizing Cooper's thoughtless act, I wonder if reaction to it is a tad overboard. (I am African-American, by the way.) The reaction to Cooper is ripe for low-grade mirth. Here are five things I find humorous in this story? No. 1 ‒ What does racial sensitivity for football players look like? Insensitivity is never said by testosterone-fueled athletes in the locker room. Never. So it's just shocking when an outlier is Cooper is busted. Cooper is taking, or is being pushed to, "sensitivity training" to understand what led him to an offensive utterance. I don't know what that looks like, but I love the treatment that Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase gave the topic on Saturday Night Live years ago. May not be safe for work. We live in a better world because people are at least more sensitive to the issue. A column in Forbes.com lists five common sense steps Cooper can take before he goes to counseling, and lists a sensitivity test Riley and everyone else can take on their own. But, the test isn't as funny as SNL, nor does it have the p.r. punch of "sensitivity training." No. 2 ‒ What small, homogeneous town did Chip Kelly come from? Kelly called Cooper's use of a slur a "heinous mistake." Heinous? Really? Serious? Yes. Insensitive? Absolutely? But heinous? Now, that's funny. Does Kelly know nothing about his quarterback? If when Kelly loses three games in a row, he's going to see genuine heinous acts by the Eagles' notorious fans. Chip Kelly hails from New Hampshire. He coached in the Ivy League and at New Hampshire. He even spent a year as defensive coordinator for the Johns Hopkins football team. He went from little programs to Oregon. Is this man ready for major market football? You want heinous? How did Kelly fly over the midwest from New Hampshire to Oregon without a Big Ten school snatching him out of the sky and naming him head coach? As a B1G alum and fan, I am outraged.   No. 3 ‒ Bill Belichick is grateful Nobody is talking about Aaron Hernandez or Tim Tebow anymore. How did Cooper manage to pull that off? Does this mean Cooper has a future with the Patriots? No. 4 – The Eagles will release Riley Cooper Bwahaha! The NFL does not release players for bad boy behavior. They expect them to do penance by making the Pro Bowl. This may be a CBA thing. No. 5 ‒ Who else did Cooper harm? The Eagles are not the only ones dealing with the fallout of Coopers spurious word. Kenny Chesney, on behalf of his fans, condemned Cooper for using a slur at Chesney's concert. Cooper's own grandma said he brought this upon himself. It is not a reflection on the family, she says. Gee! When your own grandma throws you under the bus.... That got us thinking about Cooper's damage done to others. Here's a quick list. Urban Meyer. He should have seen this coming and done something about it. University of Florida. How can you spend four years on campus and not have sense enough to avoid using a word that might offend 70 percent of your co-workers? The beer Cooper was drinking. Whatever the brand, avoid it. Medicinal marijuana.  If Cooper tested positive for recreational drugs, we would have heard of it by now. Then the NFL could suspend him to sweep this more under the rug. Cooper is sure to face more frequent testing as part of his public flogging rehab. Those New Jersey medical marijuana clinics lost a potential customer. The horse he rode in on. I don't know what that actually means, but it seems appropriate somehow.      

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

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