Found August 01, 2013 on
We, the media, will blow this Riley Cooper teachable moment. It's what we do when it comes to race. We look for good guys and bad guys, villains and heroes. We choose the politically correct path rather than the road to understanding.
Riley Cooper, a receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, did and said something very, very stupid and disgusting. Drunk and partying in a sea of whiteness, Cooper apparently lashed out at a black security guard and threatened to fight every "n****r" here.
A cellphone camera captured Cooper's ignorance. It took a month, but the blogosphere unearthed the video and broadcasted it to the world. The Eagles reacted responsibly, fining Cooper and forcing him to confront his mistake publicly with the media and privately with his teammates.
Watch what he said. Warning, language is universally considered to be offensive:
I don't expect the media to respond as responsibly. Too many of us will think the solution is for Roger Goodell to suspend Riley Cooper. Too many of us will think Riley Cooper in no way reflects on all of us.
Well, I've been young, drunk, filled with athletic testosterone and partying in a sea of blackness. I'm glad there were no cellphone cameras then. I've been middle-age, drunk, filled with non-athletic cholesterol and partying in a sea of blackness. I'm glad no one recorded the foolish thoughts I've uttered when I assumed no one around me would be offended.
Maybe most of the people working in the media are perfect, immune to impure, biased thoughts or actions. I'm not. And no one I know is. What happens with age and maturity is we get better at combatting our biases and keeping them from spilling out of our mouths. When we intellectually evolve, we get better at seeing the stupidity of our biases and not letting them dictate our actions.
I'm extremely distrustful of anyone who claims they're free of biases. They're dishonest or delusional.
For the most part, Riley Cooper handled his apology flawlessly. He forthrightly expressed the proper remorse and humbly answered every question.
"This is the lowest of lows," Cooper said. "This is not the type of person I want to be portrayed as. This isn't the type of person I am. I'm extremely sorry."
There's no room for Cooper to be totally honest. The media -- social and legitimate -- won't allow Cooper to be transparent. What was captured on tape is a reflection of what type of the person Cooper is.
He's flawed. He's a product of America's conflicted melting pot. That is not a knock on America. We have racial issues because we're the most diverse nation on the planet. We have trouble working through those issues because dishonesty and simple-mindedness are rewarded.
Like all of us, Riley Cooper is biased. He needs to admit that to himself so he can adequately combat his biases and be a force for positive change.
I used to be proudly homophobic. I used the F-word regularly. In 1998, while sitting in the Patriots press box, I got in a back-and-forth exchange with Pats fans and cracked a "joke" that ended with me asking, "Drew Bledsoe gay?"
The ensuing controversy started the process of me recognizing and realizing the utter ignorance of my homophobia. I used to be offended when people analogized the struggle for gay equality with black people's struggle for equality. I now get it and understand their struggle benefits our struggle and the overall fight for fairness.
I hope Cooper is allowed to evolve. I hope we don't demonize him to the point that he becomes John Rocker II and more entrenched in bigotry. I hope Cooper confronts who he is. He didn't threaten to fight every n****r because there's no bigotry in his heart and mind. He did it because he has failed to deal with who he really is.
He's in the same denial most of us are in. I'm talking about all of us -- black, white, brown and yellow.
I want to make one other point before I finish. Cooper's transgression isn't much of a locker-room issue for the Eagles. There are bigots of every color on sports teams. The beauty of sports is that teams force participants to put aside their biases and work together. Working together is different from liking or respecting each other.
Cooper isn't a coach or executive with the power to hire and fire people based on his racial biases. Cooper is a player. He's a 25-year-old kid with immature thoughts. His teammates will move on as long as he plays at a high level.
Racial slurs fly on football fields somewhat regularly. It's a violent game that brings out the worst in people. My junior season at Ball State, I played against a white Northern Illinois defensive tackle who N-bombed me most of the afternoon. I kept shouting at his mostly black defensive teammates about why they would tolerate such a flaming idiot. The next year, the same guy was the most courteous opponent I played against all season.
Let's help Cooper evolve and mature. We might be surprised by the results.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Philadelphia eagles have excused wide receiver Riley Cooper from all team activities as he seeks counseling for his recent outburst.
On Friday the Eagles released the following statement:
“This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way. He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help...
SPOT IS SAFE
Though reports said the Eagles were considering cutting Riley Cooper, coach Chip Kelly denies that was the case.
What Riley Cooper had going for him as a player in the NFL was completely wiped away after revelations of his using a racial slur came to light.
It wasn’t that he just used the racial slur, it was the way in which it was used. He used it with malicious intent. For that reason, it will follow him for the rest of his career.
Cooper will never be the same kind of player again.
TARGET ON HIS BACK
Hall of Famer Cris Carter weighed in on the Riley Cooper situation on Friday, noting that defensive backs may be more aggressive with Cooper this season.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper is having a very bad day after a video came to light of him stating that he would “fight every [n-word] here” at a Kenny Chesney concert.
The Eagles e-mailed a press statement to Players View from Cooper that apologizes for his behavior.
Please click here to read this story.
The post Riley Cooper issues apology for using the...
Pretty Expensive Concert
When I was a kid, I grew up with pretty consistent contact with racist relatives. Slurs were routinely dropped, gross generalizations handed out like mints, and if you wanted to argue that all of that was a bad idea, you were an arrogant little kid that didn't know much about the world. You'd learn how Those People were in time, and that was that...
After yesterday’s fall out, we now know that at one of Riley Cooper’s teammates no longer respects him and doesn’t consider him a friend any longer.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was asked about Cooper today.
LeSean McCoy told me what hurts about Cooper's remarks is "losing a friend." I asked him what that meant, "I can't respect a guy like that."...
The Philadelphia Eagles excused Riley Cooper from all team activities on Friday after the wide receiver was caught on video making a racial slur.
Cooper said the last few days have been incredibly difficult and he will step away to seek counseling.
"My actions were inexcusable," he said. "The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying...
The folks at Next Media Animation, aka the Taiwanese animators, are at it again, and this time they’ve got Eagles receiver Riley Cooper firmly in their sights.
As you’ve probably heard by now, Cooper was caught on a phone video using the N-word while at a Kenny Chesney concert with some Eagles teammates. Cooper has already profusely apologized and been punished by the Eagles...
Riley Cooper has been fined by the Philadelphia Eagles and will be sent to sensitivity training after being caught in a video using a racial slur at a concert. Although his punishment has been handed down, though, Cooper will still be judged for years to come in the court of public opinion.
One of Cooper’s teammates who was with him at the Kenny Chesney show is speaking out, not...
Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper has been excused from all team activities while he seeks couseling. SOURCE: Eagles on TwitterFantasy Spin:Footage of Cooper using a racial epithet at a Kenny Chesney concert surfaced earlier this week. Cooper seemed sincere in his apology but most of his teammates have already turned their backs on him. At this point, it seems inevitable that Cooper...
Michael Vick may have been willing to forgive Riley Cooper and still consider him a friend, but the same is not true for all of the players in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room. As expected, Cooper’s racist outburst that was caught on camera has negatively impacted his relationship with some of his teammates, including LeSean McCoy. On [...]
Riley Cooper may have apologized, but the damage was done, and certain relationships Cooper may have built are going to be the collateral damage.
After having it revealed to the world that he used disparaging remarks and racial slurs towards an African-American security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert, Cooper has been fined, forced to apologize and suffer the repercussions of such...
By now, you know all about Riley Cooper’s outburst at a Kenny Chesney concert in Philly. If you don’t, go get caught up. Since then, there has been reaction by Mike Vick, Marcus Vick, the Eagles, and most recently LeSean McCoy.But what about the reactions of the folks that live in Philadelphia and may be fans of the Eagles?Glad you asked. Philly.com asked a group of Philadelphia...
What were the Haps for July 31st & August 1st? Riley Cooper drops the “N” word, the Justin Bieber/Lil’ Wayne of college sports fans is identified, a Kurt Warner movie is found out to be in the works, a hilarious social experiment and more. The Links - Eagles WR Riley Cooper At Concert: “I Will The post The Haps – 7/31 & 8/1: Riley The Racist, The NFL’s Offseason...