As the Jets prepare to end the preseason with a low-travel-cost trip to Philly, Mike Vick will return to the place where he spent five NFL seasons. He recently told Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York that Vick’s proudest moment as a professional athlete came with the Eagles a year ago, when he defused the Riley Cooper situation.
Specifically, Vick stood up for and spoke out on behalf of Cooper, after he was caught on camera using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert.
“Guys were mad at me for a while,” Vick said of his Eagles teammates. “They were upset with me for a day or two, like six or seven guys who were just like, ‘Really, how could you do that?’ And then I’m getting phone calls from people everywhere, and my Twitter page is kind of in an uproar. But I took that stand for him, man, and I just hope at the end of the day that he appreciates that.
“I just hope he’s [appreciative] of my boldness to step out in front of the world and say what I said, and he appreciates what I did and understands the magnitude of it, because nobody else was going to step up and say anything. I could’ve said the same thing that 25 of my teammates were saying, and there was built-up anger.”
Some apparent anger built up for Vick in the offseason, after Cooper signed a new contract to stay in Philly, thanks in large part to the fact that Vick helped take the sting out of Cooper’s comments.
“A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I’ll be honest with you,” Vick told O’Connor. “After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way. But I’m not the type of guy who holds grudges.”
If Vick were a guy who held a grudge, it’s all been resolved. Via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, a Vick spokesman said Vick and Cooper have spoken today, and that they “are all good.”
Regardless, Vick’s comments should that the Cooper situation easily could have imploded both for the player and for the team, and that Vick had an important role in keeping it all together.