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Eagles suggest Riley Cooper may have been victim of extortion

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Just when the most bizarre offseason story (not involving murder or dogfighting) in recent memory seems that it can’t get any more bizarre, it does.

In response to a report that Eagles receiver Riley Cooper knew about the video that emerged on Wednesday before it emerged, the Eagles have issued a statement acknowledging that Cooper was aware of something regarding the video.

“Riley Cooper made us aware of the tweets when the video became public,” the team said in a statement.  “He told us that he did not know about the video.  He informed us he blocked the tweets because he did not know the person nor understand the context of what that person was threatening.  We promptly alerted NFL Security. This information potentially speaks to a legal issue that is a matter between Riley and the authorities.  Our focus has been on Riley’s words and actions.”

If you’re confused, you’ve got company.  Cooper sensed that there was something unusual with the tweets that apparently made not-so-cryptic references to what he had said at a Kenny Chesney concert on June 9.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t have blocked the users sending him the messages.  (For those not conversant in Twitter, “tweets” aren’t blocked.  Users are blocked, preventing them from following or posting messages directed to the user who has blocked them.)

The statement from the Eagles indicates that Cooper said nothing about the tweets he received until the video surfaced.  Still, if someone asked Cooper for money in exchange for not releasing the video and Cooper didn’t pay and the video then was released, the persons who released the video could be charged with extortion.

On the surface, it’s a separate issue for the team and for Cooper.  As we pointed out earlier today, however, any knowledge Cooper had before the video was released that the story inevitably would break gives a different feel to the words he uttered in the aftermath of the video’s release.

Everything he said after the video surfaced strongly suggested he didn’t know that what he said had been captured on camera until the video was released.  While any inconsistencies on that point may not matter in the grander scheme of things, teammates trying to figure out whether they can take Cooper at his word may have a harder time doing so if they think he hasn’t been completely honest about what he knew and when he knew it regarding the video.

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60 Responses to “Eagles suggest Riley Cooper may have been victim of extortion”
  1. jeremywflores says: Aug 4, 2013 2:01 PM

    …and the plot thickens.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 4, 2013 2:02 PM

    The same guy who sold Hernandez’ letter, I bet. It really breaks your heart to see the way some of these players are treated by the public.

  3. theparadoxx82 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:05 PM

    Cry me a river… I’ve picked up a load of Soldiers from a Chesney concert in CO..

    If you said “i got a video of a guy yelling the -word”, I’d ask which one.. cause it was NOT a rare occurrence in the 30 minutes I was in earshot of the departing crowd.

  4. firestarter0728 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:06 PM

    In other words, this whole ridiculous overblown story still won’t be put to bed for quite a while.

  5. lks311 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:08 PM

    Okay, I’m not part of the “Cooper is a Victim of Double Standard” camp and even I’m tired of this now.

  6. dekubetus says: Aug 4, 2013 2:19 PM

    Eagles suggest Cooper’s a first class idiot because he had a chance to prevent this entire story and chose not to?

  7. stopdk12 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:20 PM

    what he knew and when is not that relevant… im sure he was also busy trying to do his job and make the football team… is there really anything wrong with him just waing a day or two to see what happened.

  8. donth8thehorns says: Aug 4, 2013 2:26 PM

    Move on! All you sports writers are dropping in terms of class, your worse than the enquirer

  9. kaoticbandito says: Aug 4, 2013 2:26 PM

    The guy was hammered and did not remember saying what the person sending him the messages was talking about. Blocked said person(s). Video comes out and he thinks…”crap, so that’s what they were talking about.” And here we are. Dude is still a douche for saying what he said, but it’s not really that unbelievable, IMO.

  10. youarejealousof6rings says: Aug 4, 2013 2:28 PM

    These things don’t happen in Pittsburgh.

  11. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 4, 2013 2:29 PM

    Maybe the Eagles should ask Riley Cooper to take a lie detector test and then ask him questions that get at his true feelings regarding race as well as his honesty with the team. Can’t hurt to try a new approach and exercise to see if he changes his story to something else or who knows what he might say. Get the information if you still need information to determine whether or not he should be on the team.

  12. raidadon says: Aug 4, 2013 2:29 PM

    Who are you talkin about? Move on nothin to see here

  13. robdog0721 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:32 PM

    Not a surprise since the event was taped in June. Someone’s goin to jail.

  14. aa1829 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:33 PM

    So tell me, what was it that was said to this guy, and by whom, to make him so angry that he wanted to climb a fence and fight an entire crowd.

  15. captainwisdom8888 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:34 PM

    Riley will have to live with this significant blotch on his reputation for the rest of his days, and that punishment in itself is far worse than he deserves. He made a serious mistake, but give the guy a fair chance to prove to the world that he isn’t defined by a 30-second video clip.

  16. eleventyeight says: Aug 4, 2013 2:35 PM

    I’m just still stunned that a man can be so publicly shamed, potentially lose a million-dollar job, and have former “friends” claim they “trust” him now all because of one word uttered in drunkeness.

    Who cares what his teammates think? They no doubt use the same word with each other numerous times a day. How does him saying a word change how he plays?

    It’ll be kinda funny if the Eagles fail miserably this year for lack of a WR.

    I can’t believe thoughts are actually now crimes.

    In America.

    Apparently second chances aren’t for everyone anymore…

  17. tbutler704 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:37 PM

    Isn’t this the same load of crap Paula Deen is pushing?

    Is there some Southerner’s Guide to Racism Defense??

  18. keylimelight says: Aug 4, 2013 2:41 PM

    If Cooper had not had a Twitter account, it would have been considerably more challenging for the may be extortionist to threaten him. It’s one of the risks you take when you give access to yourself to perfect strangers.

  19. jason1980 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:41 PM

    Cue up the “excuse machine”, because at the end of the day, his words were plain, simply, and concise. Extortion or not, Riley has to take responsibility for his actions. This incident occurred in June, Riley only because “extremely” concerned when it became clear his arrogant, horrible words were captured on camera. He doesn’t claim to suffer from “Tourette Syndrome”, therefore his words were thought out and delivered as he intended. He and his apologist should man up and accept his reality. Words have consequences.

  20. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Aug 4, 2013 2:49 PM

    If you watch Brian’s Song a true story ,,,,Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers if you need to be reminded a white man and a black man were teammates during a time of REAL racial tension in this country in the movie James Caan as Brian Piccolo would refer to Billy D Gale Sayers as a racially insensitive word on occasion ! (`I am assuming this was researched for the making of the movie and true in real life) these two were the best of friends and loved one another I could only wish to have a relationship this deep with a member of my own race let alone of a member of another ! What I am getting at is have we really made progress some 50 years later or are we slowly going backwards ! For McCoy to say he cant move past this I would suggest to the Philadelphia Eagles this movie be shown down at the ultra modern NOVA complex and maybe, just maybe some of the old school qualities have some room in todays world !

  21. metalhead65 says: Aug 4, 2013 2:51 PM

    enough already! he used a word that all young people use as slang today. I doubt very much he gave it a second thought since people of his generation toss it around like it is nothing. he was more than likely referring to some rowdy fans at the show and not challenging a group of black people. the guy said a word and committed no crime so why all the outrage? spare me the way it was used in the past b.s., in the present it does not mean the same thing to the younger generation that tosses it around like every other cuss word. white kids use it because it is the cool thing to say and they all want to fit in. you can’t be outraged if it is part of the hi hop culture today. and that culture is marketed to everybody not just black kids. oh wait I said black and not african american guess you will want to send to reeducation camp..er sensitivity training now right?

  22. bishoplanky says: Aug 4, 2013 2:56 PM

    Please, can we move on?!! While I don’t support anyone using the “N” word, or even worse, insulting ANY race. Good grief…..history has done far worse than this guy, and I really don’t care what the story is….it’s creating a mountain out of a molehill that only leads to problems.

    Dude screwed up, or didn’t…so what. Who hasn’t ever screwed up in their life?? Let’s drop it.

  23. prmpft says: Aug 4, 2013 3:06 PM

    He is certainly a victim of STUPIDITY with all of this talk about name calling. People who have nothing better to do than point out others’ fault (if you can even call it that) – no matter how small – should take a quick glance in the mirror.

  24. supermadelf says: Aug 4, 2013 3:16 PM

    “NFL Security” is the only thing that stands out in this article.

  25. islandgechee says: Aug 4, 2013 3:27 PM

    No Riley it will not go away….lol dumb athletes

  26. northstarnic says: Aug 4, 2013 3:41 PM

    Yes, because he should have come out to the media vultures and held a press conference explaining his drunken behavior the day after it happened. THEN we could all trust his sincerity. Who wouldn’t do that?

  27. therillest says: Aug 4, 2013 3:45 PM

    ok, can we please just play football now?

  28. jziii says: Aug 4, 2013 3:54 PM

    IMO, this story is becoming more about how bizarre and ridiculous the sports media has become than it is about Riley Cooper. The dude said something stupid and took responsibility for it. End of story. This should have died during its first 24-hour news cycle, but you guy just keep necro-ing it.

  29. thraiderskin says: Aug 4, 2013 3:56 PM

    Yeah, I still don’t care what he said. I can’t stand the word, but this whole thing being treated like a “crime” is laughable. He deserved a fine, even a 1 game suspension might have been suitable (for the public scrutiny brought to the Eagles), but to the degree it has been taken… a joke. I know there is a double standard, I can live with that as a white guy, but for people to think this a big deal… get a life, that goes for the paid players on that football team, If they can not except his appology, that is on them and is more of a knock of their maturity than it is of his (Cooper’s).

  30. mcwest1 says: Aug 4, 2013 3:56 PM

    I don’t know Cooper, so I don’t know what is/was in his heart and mind. But if he was drunk enough to have no recollection of what he said and did, it could explain why he had no care of the video becoming public. And why he had no remorse until after the video became public. Maybe Cooper’s bigger problem is that he doesn’t know when to say when after he starts drinking.

  31. icdogg says: Aug 4, 2013 4:00 PM

    He’s a victim of coicumstance!

  32. sonopazzo6 says: Aug 4, 2013 4:01 PM

    Enough already………I can’t take it anymore…..we are talking about a fourth, that’s right 4th string wide out here……I was glad when they drafted him, being a life long Eagles fan I was waiting for the Birds to get a big WR, someone like T.O. who could get YAC and dominate……..it quickly became apparent that Riley wasn’t that guy……OK, so now we have another serviceable WR (think Thrash, Mitchell, Stallworth)……….and this guy has to open his mouth and say something stupid……big wup, move along, nothing here to see peeps!

  33. mcwest1 says: Aug 4, 2013 4:06 PM

    The media really should focus their attention on CB Chris Culliver from the 49ers who said a a gay teammate wouldn’t be welcome. He ruined any chance of gay football player coming out to give the media the story they so anxiously seek . I guess you’ll have to wait a little longer for that to happen.

    “I don’t do the gay guys man, I don’t do that,” Culliver repotedly told Lange when asked if there were any current gay 49er players. “We don’t got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff.”

  34. 1phillyphan says: Aug 4, 2013 4:10 PM

    When saying a offensive word is more of a story then a NFL player who has a major role in the deaths of maybe several people, or a bigger story the the first NFL since the Superbowl..then its time for beat writers to go back to school and learn how to report “news” not on going personal views. yes, it WAS a big story a couple days ago..but suggesting the writers views of he being cut, or speculating about what his team mates feel is just getting old..Move on Media..

  35. whatjusthapped says: Aug 4, 2013 4:15 PM

    Liberals love this stuff, one word, 1oo chances to dissect the story from 100 different angles.

  36. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 4, 2013 4:16 PM

    Media will not let it die. Keep milkin’ the story for all it’s worth then some.

  37. 1phillyphan says: Aug 4, 2013 4:17 PM

    One more reason the NFL should tell all their players to NOT have twitter accounts while playing in the NFL..how many stories have we read about in recent years of NFL plaers and their’ twitter battles” or making stupid comments on their twitter account?..lets focus on what EVERY NFL fan really cares about..Wins/ losses and the season starting in a couple weeks..AS a NFL fan and avid Eagles fan for over 35 years. there has been lots of eagle players and NFL players for that matter that I didn’t think were good people..but bottom line as a NFL fan..i care about what they do on the field..I don’t care who they hang out with, what they do, or where they go off the field..

  38. gopblows says: Aug 4, 2013 4:22 PM

    Murder (Humans) Dog fighting (Animals) are not on the same level regardless how much you dog lovers like to claim.

  39. thepvyharvin says: Aug 4, 2013 4:22 PM

    This whole Cooper witch hunt is pure garbage. For the people and media crying for his punishment and some his JOB….you are all NUTS! He said ….a word.Even if not a nice one. Drop it

  40. ace8842 says: Aug 4, 2013 4:23 PM

    Please move on. This media witch hunt has gotten way out of hand. It’s like the media wants to ruin the NFL season before it starts. Why are Kenny Chesney and Tim Tebow interviewed about this? This is a 1 day story but the media won’t let it go due to their personal agendas and it being a slow time in sports.

  41. gopblows says: Aug 4, 2013 4:24 PM

    The most bizarre thing is that Cooper is a bench warmer getting star attention.

  42. seanemac75 says: Aug 4, 2013 4:28 PM

    If it funny how long it took for the video to come out since this happened in June. Also, comes out just as the point he gets a chance to be the #2 receiver on the team. Then you have people that have been around him for most the year in a coming on to the 4th year now questioning is that the real him?
    Ask Jeremy Maclin if he is racist when he was helping him after his injury, like Jason Avant said. Yet, no one listened.

  43. ratherbpickin says: Aug 4, 2013 4:39 PM

    These things don’t happen in Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh is the most redneck, racist city in the NFL. I must have made huge mistakes in a formal life, because I’ve been banished by employment to western PA, the true armpit of America. And no, good wings and cheap beer do not make it better.

    Also, there was that thing about Kordell and what he was saying to other men in bathroom stalls….

  44. blackandbluedivision says: Aug 4, 2013 4:41 PM

    Yea, it would’ve been much better if it had come out that he had paid to make it go away.

  45. greymares says: Aug 4, 2013 4:44 PM

    The next words i expect to be uttered on this topic will come from the Maury Povich show. ” Riley you are the baby daddy.”

  46. jimmylions says: Aug 4, 2013 4:56 PM

    Turn Cooper from the heal into the victim, it’s an old PR strategy. Heck, it’s Sarah Palin’s entire career. She’s always the victim, just ask her.

  47. magikmarv says: Aug 4, 2013 5:02 PM

    metalhead you on point with your statement, we use that n word as a slang but we need not use it either and realize the true meaning behind that word. this generation wasnt raised during slavery so we toss the word around without realizing the pain behind that word and I agree white kids want to use it so bad cause it became a cool word part of slang but if a white person say it then the four hundred yrs of slavery and lynching goes through a black person head and thats bring about the outrage in us

  48. vegasviking33 says: Aug 4, 2013 5:29 PM

    The issue I have (and its really minor) is that it took Riley Cooper an entire month to feel “sick and disgusted” by his words. Why not come out right after he said it if he really felt that way. His words were wrong and he should have felt “sick and disgusted” whether it was caught on video or not. My guess is that he felt “sick and disgusted” after he found out that his words had gone viral. I was told in my 20′s that alcohol lowers inhibitions and allows who you “really” are to come out. Mike Vick said “I know Riley Cooper” or “do I .” Exactly.

  49. staff2cj says: Aug 4, 2013 5:29 PM

    The guy is still a racist! However, he deserves a second chance

  50. anthonybjones says: Aug 4, 2013 5:42 PM

    Media is ruining the world’s perspective. If you’re offended by Riley Cooper’s comments, I suggest you take a close look at all of the people in your life and ask yourself this question: “which of these people is blameless?”

    You’d better hope you don’t have someone with a camera following you around.

  51. fdugrad says: Aug 4, 2013 5:56 PM

    I have email and I text on my phone, and I must admit that I do not understand Twitter, however some posts have been castigating Twitter and saying things along the lines of this not coming out if Cooper didn’t have Twitter. I thought somebody caught him on their cell phone. What would Cooper’s Twitter account, or lack of one have to do with this mess being sent to the public? This doesn’t make sense to me. Can somebody, probably much younger than I explain this please?

  52. ddmcd1974 says: Aug 4, 2013 6:02 PM

    Your outrage then is ridiculous. You wasting one second on some dumb fukcer who yells a word in a context you don’t even know is insane to me. From my understanding the guy was yelling at white people so how if that was the context is it in any way racial? If true and it still promotes outrage from the black community then its simply a case of the black community not wanting any white man or other race to utter that word. Basically you want to restrict others vocabulary because you think that’s how it should be. That is also insane. Call me a retard I guess cause none of this makes any sense to me, especially sensitivity training. He should stand up say look I said something not nice, I shouldn’t have said, I’m not sure why I used that word since I was only around white people and wasn’t thinking of black people so I guess my point is I said the wrong thing I regret it I’m sorry if I offended many. I understand what some say is ok for them but is not appropriate for me.

  53. justincohn says: Aug 4, 2013 6:13 PM

    I think Mantei Te’o may have been just slightly stranger.

  54. hatesycophants says: Aug 4, 2013 6:16 PM

    I think we have a responsibility to get together and take action against the person or persons who forced those of you who claim to be weary of this story to post the same tired comments ad nauseam.

  55. SilentMajority says: Aug 4, 2013 6:46 PM

    Riley Cooper is an idiot, which can mean only one thing; he has a promising career in politics ahead of him…

  56. tory707 says: Aug 4, 2013 9:17 PM

    Okay here is a forth string white receiver getting killed by the media for using a word I hate but Black congressman Charlie Rangel calls tea party members “white crackers”
    And we hardly hear anything about it. This country is just nuts anymore…all media driven.

  57. ppletr says: Aug 5, 2013 12:12 AM

    Aside from Rangel, what about Roddy White calling for the murder of the 6 jurors in the Zimmerman trial or Victor Cruz saying Zimmerman would be killed within the year in the hood. Want to go back in time Jessie Jackson calling NYC hymietown? where is all the outrage? Anyone remember Sharpton and Twana Brawley.
    Drop this already. He apologized, not his PR people, he apologized.

  58. ninersblogger says: Aug 5, 2013 2:05 PM

    Cooper is waiving bye bye to his professional sports career….

    Bye Bye Cooper…. don’t let the door hit you in the ….

  59. hatesycophants says: Aug 5, 2013 6:49 PM

    When did Charlie Rangel become black? Some of you folks have allowed your bigotry and self-pity to drive you stark raving mad! I am enjoying the hell out of witnessing it!

  60. doughboy73 says: Aug 6, 2013 5:19 AM

    What Cooper said is indefensable in today’s world. The attention being given to that word is doing so much more to harm racial tensions in this country. If you take the context of what was said, a drunk Riley Cooper was angrily reacting to a stadium security guard who had just prevented him from joining his teammates back stage. He reacted by dropping the most hateful thing he could say on this man, who in doing his job deals with drunken idiots all the time. As for the word, this man has spent the past several years in locker room situations where I am sure that word gets used way to often. Does this one instance make Riley Cooper a racist? NO! It makes him an immature athlete who needs better self control in public settings. It also does not mean that he is not a racist. It simply shows that he used poor judgement when he wasn’t treated with the entitlement that pro athletes have become used to.

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