Forgiving Riley Cooper is best for Everyone

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I just finished watching Eagles WR Riley Cooper address the media (see below) in response to his public usage of one of the most heinous racial slurs known to mankind.

In case you just crawled from under a rock, an apparently intoxicated and obviously irritated Riley directed this towards a security guard at a recent Kenny Chesney concert.

“I will jump that fence and fight every n*gger here, bro.”

In any forum, any situation, it’s hard to justify or explain away the ugly outburst.

During his press conference on Wednesday Cooper’s apology seemed sincere – very sincere. He looked humiliated, embarrassed, humbled, remorseful and in pain. He also seemed willing to accept any consequences – honor any punishment without resistance.

He apologized to the media and the fans and explained that he had apologized to team owner Jeffrey Lurie, GM Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly. He described his parents as great people who were very disappointed in their son – one of the deepest cuts a child can sustain.

But the biggest challenge of all during the aftermath for Cooper will take place in that Eagles locker room and how his teammates respond to his apology.

I’m sure we’ve all said or done things we’d love to have back. I’m sure many of you, myself included, have had on one or more occasions said or done something under the influence that eventually delivered embarrassment to your doorstep.

What defines a person after such an incident is how they face the music. How they take their medicine and learn.

Cooper’s lesson will go into overdrive in that Eagles locker room.

If he’s a guy who has even slightly behaved in a way that might suggest bigotry, he’s done. But if his teammates haven’t seen anything remotely like this from Cooper in the past, accept his apology as sincere and then move on, it could be a galvanizing event for the Eagles.

If his teammates can get over it, there’s still the rest of the league for Cooper to deal with. Opponents and their fans will taunt him; they’ll go a little harder at him; maybe they’ll even go at him after the whistle. Perhaps that’s part of his penance.

Some have said that given the fact that Cooper’s quarterback Michael Vick is an African-American, that it could be a problem for the Eagles’ signal caller.

Vick should be the least of Cooper’s problems. If anything Vick who committed repeated heinous crimes, understands forgiveness.

And now it’s time for him to forgive.

If given the chance Cooper can teach us all a lesson.

Hopefully a forgiving Eagles locker room can allow that to happen.



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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

15 Raves on “Forgiving Riley Cooper is best for Everyone

  1. G on said:

    Give him his walking papers asap. Then on his way out the door have every black member of the orginazation kick him in the a$$.

    • dumb on said:

      come on man. its just a word. I know its offensive, but I guess you’ve never said anything offensive in your life. get over yourself.

    • Drock on said:

      That isn’t how you handle this situation. Players have done far worse and are still on teams. Forgiveness is essential in our species because of the emotions humans generate.

  2. Rick on said:

    No excuses, but it certainly does not help that at certain times and in certain circles the use of the N word is perfectly acceptable. Just watch YouTube vids, movies, and obviously in certain genres of music, its very very common. Other than in rap music, it mostly occurs in a setting of joking around, and often in a group that contains both young white and black people that are laughing and having fun and it is said in jest, and often pronounced “n*gga”. Now lets be clear, in the case of Cooper the word was used with malice and in an unacceptable way. But it is not hard to imagine, especially with him drinking and pissed off, the N word flying off his tongue, when the word is used so casually especially among the younger crowd. And to them its like- whats the big deal shouldn’t we be way over this by now? We have a black president right? Get over it, lighten up, its a word. This guy obviously isn’t a racist, and this should go away and be forgotten, fast.

  3. jws on said:

    COOPER is being counted on as the Eagles #2 receiver most likely this year with WR Maclin injury. What Cooper said means he is thinking that many times not just after 20 beers. The problem even after all these years this country enjoys so many freedoms however, too many still have many bias against many a small percent of Americans feel and sometimes say but far too many for whatever reason and still feel dislike of other human beings. No, it may not be as big, these bias feelings elsewhere in the world because we do not hear or see enough of what happens on the streets overseas but it may be worldwide. We know it is in the mid-East for sure against other member’s of mankind. The media continues to report ,with pictures and cell phones from many sources all these situations out to America.
    How sorry is Cooper? Only he knows that answer. However, it can likely be assumed he was told by the Eagles management team to say he was sorry and now may be fearing for his job in the NFL. Yes we all have said and done things we wish we had not but most of all are not in the spotlight as a role model or a starting NFL player. Cell phones and cameras are everywhere these days. The question really is Cooper really that bias?, Why does he think and sometimes use this word and how will fellow teammates and more importantly when in games what will defensive players say or do now? Even with a low amount of overall people that are against Gays, Blacks, all foreign speaking people, it it still far too many still thinking that way in this world!!.

  4. Big C on said:

    Good luck playing WR… 99% of the DB’s are black guys waiting to tee off on rednecks like him. Catch the ball and DUCK my son…

  5. Fcowher on said:

    Words are just words. This word in particuler has attained some type of mythical status as the be all and end all of human intelligence. Get over yourselves politically correct nation, its a word that slanders one group of people. Just like every other one word that slanders every group out there. No one flies off the handle when an Italin is called a “wop” or an Irishman a “mick”. Those words are just as mean and just as divisive. Not defending this guy’s behavior, just upset at socities moral outrage.

  6. Mill on said:

    I don’t really buy the intoxication excuse. I think the old saying goes if you want to know the true character of a man give him a drink. So, he doesn’t get a free pass. He’s got some issues that he needs to address. I do think all these “n word” controversies get a little overblown. LeSean McCoy saying that he can’t respect a man that behaves that way, I bet McCoy himself has said that word a million times and if he hasn’t I know he has listened to it in music and pop culture plenty. It’s just hypocrisy. Before I go on my soap box, Riley has a lot of issues that he needs to address, that aggression didn’t come on randomly. However he doesn’t deserve the Paula Deen treatment, neither did she but that is another story.

  7. re on said:

    Everybody says the N word. I love all the white guilt hypocrites that get on here . You all said it right!!! Sure you did!!! They say this all the time in training camp. They call whites crackers too but I don’t hear all the “BRU HA HA’ over that, so take your fake care and stick it!!!!

  8. eric on said:

    forgiveness is one thing. forgetting is another matter.

    you hear it in rap music. you hear it in certain conversations. McCoy said it best.

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