At a time when internal factors primarily will drive the Eagles’ handling of receiver Riley Cooper, the mayor of the town where the Eagles play continues to apply a significant amount of external pressure.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael Nutter addressed Cooper’s racist slur during a Monday event in the courtyard at City Hall.
“Somebody said something, either out of their mouth or out of the side of their neck, and didn’t think anybody was listening,” Nutter said regarding Cooper.
Nutter, who issued a statement last week calling for the team to suspend Cooper
, made another reference to the movie 42
, explaining that during the film the Phillies manager directs a racial at Jackie Robinson.
“[It was] the same word that the Philadelphia Eagles player used last week — 66 years later, still dealing with the same kind of nonsense, same kind of mind-set,” Nutter said.
It’s unknown whether Nutter’s words will influence the team’s decision-making process. On one hand, it could contribute to finding a way to move on from Cooper, in order to prevent the situation from creating political problems and/or potential fan discontent. On the other hand, it could prompt the Eagles to circle the wagons, sending a broader message to Nutter and anyone else outside the organization that the team can’t be pushed in situation like this.
The easy thing to do would be to find a replacement for Cooper and move on. Whether that’s the right thing to do is an issue that likely will require further thought, reflection, and discussion.