With Riley Cooper being caught on camera using the strongest possible racial epithet, his employer is reacting. Strongly.
“We are shocked and appalled by Riley Cooper’s words,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement issued by the team. “This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society. He has accepted responsibility for his words and his actions. He has been fined for this incident.“
There’s a disconnect, it seems, between being “shocked and appalled” by an employee’s behavior and responding to it with only a fine. Conduct that prompts shock and/or whatever the noun for “appalled” is in most workplaces will get the employee fired.
But here’s where the great double standard comes into play. The Eagles need Cooper, especially with Jeremy Maclin gone for the year. So they’ll say that what Cooper said was horrible — and they won’t fire him.
If he were floating at the bottom of the roster, he’d already be gone.
That’s the way it goes in sports of every kind and at every level. Unless the conduct is grossly criminal (e.g., dogfighting or alleged murder), a skilled professional athlete gets his second chance with his current team. Otherwise, one of the competing teams will be the team who provides the player with a shot at redemption — to the possible detriment of the team that cut him.