As uncomfortable as being labeled a racist, or apologizing in a statement or holding a press conference might have been, the hard part for Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper begins tonight.
After video of Cooper using a racial slur hit the internet this afternoon, there was a hastily called press conference, at which time Cooper said he hadn’t spoken with any of his teammates.
“I’m going to tell them exactly what I’m telling you,” Cooper said, via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m extremely sorry. I should have never said what I said.
“Most of the ones that know me, which excludes the rookies coming in, they know the kind of person I am.”
Convincing teammates who have to work with him every day will be much harder than the typical act of contrition players begin as soon as they’re caught doing something illegal or dumb.
And there’s a reasonable chance that not all of them will accept his apology, which could cost him more than any fine from the team possibly could.
The video showed Cooper arguing with an African American security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert, and saying: “I will jump that fence and fight every n—– in here.”
But Cooper said he had never said the word before (which makes it really unfortunate for him that a camera caught him the one time he slipped).
“I wasn’t raised that way,” he said. “I got a great mom and dad at home. They’re extremely, extremely disappointed in me.”
They should be, but they’re his parents, and they’ll forgive him. They have to.
His teammates aren’t bound by that same obligation.