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Reactions To Cooper Comments

Riley Cooper said what he said. He will be fined a lot of money (up to $37,058 within league rules), but not suspended. Since NFL players cannot be punished both at the league and team levels, Cooper will not face any additional league-imposed discipline. Going forward, what matters is how he reintegrates himself into the locker room. QB Michael Vick and WR Jason Avant have been the two most outspoken Eagles about forgiving Cooper and moving on. Cooper’s comments undoubtedly turned some teammates permanently against him, though. Below is a collection of recent quotes from Eagles players and coaches regarding Cooper:

Michael Vick

“Riley came to us as a man and apologized for what he did. As a team, we understood because we all make mistakes in life and we all do and say things that maybe we do mean or we don’t mean. But as a teammate, I forgave him. As a team, we forgave him. We understand the magnitude of the situation. We understand that a lot of people may be hurt and offended, but I know Riley Cooper. I know him as a man. I’ve been with him for the last three years and I know what type of person he is. And that’s what makes it easy, at the same time hard, to understand the situation, but easy to forgive him. I forgave him.”

“We all gotta look at it like this: What if your son or daughter made a mistake in this fashion? How would you want people to perceive it? I’ve been there before. We’re in very delicate situations and we all understand, but somehow we all need to find a way to get past it. That’s maturity.”

“I just spoke to Riley inside the [practice] bubble during the walk-through for about 15 minutes, and coach allowed us to talk. He allowed me to say a couple words to the team. And he allowed all of us to have open dialogue for five minutes on how we wanted to move forward. I think we cleared the air. We all have an understanding that the most important thing for this football team is to learn to move forward as of right now, and that’s what we’re focusing on. We can’t take two steps backwards. I think that’ll show a certain level of disrespect to this organization.”

“The fact that I’ve heard that word so many times, whether good, bad or indifferent, I try not to even think about what the meaning behind it is or why would he really even be saying that. I don’t get that deep into detail or thought. …He said what he said. We all understand that. We’ve gotta move on from it. Riley wishes he would have never said it. And we’ve just gotta continue to find a way to get through this. ”

Chip Kelly

“It’s an important situation to address, and we’re not gonna stick our heads in the sand and just say, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta get ready because we have the Patriots coming in here next week.’ We encourage dialogue in our position groups, and if there are issues and players still have issues within their position meetings, we need to set up meetings with Riley and those guys. They can get to know Riley better. I know Riley made a heinous mistake. I was appalled by it. I was actually shocked by it. Since I’ve been here since April, that’s not the Riley Cooper I know. But he accepted responsibility for it and he’s gotta live with it. But I hope at some point in time [he] will get a chance to move on from it. But right now, I don’t think it’s something that’s gonna go away very quickly.”

“I think Jason Avant said it best yesterday. This isn’t a situation that you brush under the rug. I think it’s gonna take some time. The guys that know Riley and are a little bit closer to him, I think it may be a little easier for them. But there are also some guys that have just met him and just got here, and they’re still trying to wrap their arms around it. And I don’t think this is a situation that’s gonna go away tomorrow. And we certainly understand it.”

“Obviously it’s a very hot topic. That’s why I encourage our group… and our team and I talked about it last night at the team meeting… we’ve gotta have some open communication to make sure that everyone understands what went on and what Riley did to atone for it.”

LeSean McCoy

“He said how he felt. He’s still a teammate. I’m still going to block for him. I’m still gonna show great effort. Just on a friendship level, and as a person, I can’t really respect somebody like that. I think as a team, we need to move past it. There are some things that are going to be hard to work with, to be honest.”

“I don’t think he’ll get the same treatment and people talking to him as he did before the incident happened. Which is expected, though. I don’t think you say things like that and think that everything will be the same. He’s looked at differently.”

“I’ve seen the video. I was definitely embarrassed. Coop was one of my good friends on this team, and I just feel like it was a matter of thinking that nobody was watching, and that’s when a person shows who they really are. That’s exactly what took place.”

“Something like that happens, it’s like, ‘Are you the same person? Is it because the cameras were off?’ There’s not a point where I’m pissed off at the person where I’ll just say something racial. It’s more anger at the person. It’s never the individual race. It is what it is. It’s football, we are here to play ball and we’re definitely going to try to move past him. But reality is reality.”

“I forgave him, yes. I forgave Riley. It’s new and hopefully it wears off but at this point, I speak for myself and other teammates, it’s definitely different.”

Jason Kelce

“I think especially with core guys that are going to be on the team and that are going to be interacting with him on a daily basis, everyone will eventually get over it. How that time frame goes for certain people, obviously that word doesn’t have the same affect and meaning when I hear as some of the other guys on the team. Everybody is going to be a little different.”

“Anybody that really knows him knows he’s not a racist … but sometimes he can get a little bit out of control. We were both pretty intoxicated on the day.”

Anonymous Eagle veteran #1

“I’ll tell you one thing, if it was Andy Reid, he would have gotten more than a fine.”

Anonymous Eagle veteran #2

“The coaches are saying we should think team first, but this is just crazy. Was he thinking about the team when he said that?”

Anonymous Eagle veteran #3

“If he’s on the team, he’s on the team. Don’t mean I have to like him.”

Jeffrey Lurie

“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.”

Riley Cooper

“This is kind of the lowest of lows. This isn’t the type of person I want to be portrayed as. This isn’t the type of person that I am. And I’m just extremely sorry.”

“[Facing the team] is going to be very difficult for me. I’m gonna tell them I’m extremely sorry, tell them exactly what I’m telling you guys. There was a confrontation, and I just handled it extremely, extremely poorly.”

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