After a wave of apologies for his racist remarks and press conferences and an attempt at a normal day’s work yesterday, the Eagles have decided to let wide receiver Riley Cooper take a break.
The team issued a statement staying he had been “excused him from all team activities” while he’s seeking counseling.
“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me,” Cooper said in a statement provided by the team. “My actions were inexcusable. The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better.
“Right now, I think it’s important for me to take some time to reflect on this situation. The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me for what I’ve done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time.
“During this time I’m going to be speaking with a variety of professionals to help me better understand how I could have done something that was so offensive, and how I can start the healing process for everyone. As long as it takes, and whatever I have to do, I’m going to try to make this right.”
Allowing him to step away from the team also gives the Eagles a chance to sort out the best course of long-term action, while teammates decide amongst themselves whether he can be forgiven.