Riley Cooper avoids topic of whether he damages Chip Kelly’s image


Eagles coach Chip Kelly acknowledged last week that his handling of the 2013 Riley Cooper controversy could be why Kelly has faced accusations of racism. Cooper would like to think that’s not the case.

Cooper was asked by a reporter today if he thinks Kelly standing up for him last year tarnished Kelly’s image. Cooper answered, “I hope not.”

But Cooper didn’t want to address the topic, according to, and so he ignored a follow-up question and walked away.

Two years ago, Cooper was caught on tape making racist comments. Kelly sent him home from training camp and distanced himself from the comments, but within a few days Cooper was welcomed back to the team, and after the season Cooper signed a $22.5 million contract extension.

Kelly has made it clear that he thinks highly of Cooper and wants him to be one of the core members of Kelly’s Eagles, and that has raised questions in some quarters about whether Kelly has a blind spot on matters of race. Those are questions Cooper doesn’t want to answer.

45 responses to “Riley Cooper avoids topic of whether he damages Chip Kelly’s image

  1. Ask this same question about any currently active African American NFL player that has been given a second chance and watch how fast you get branded a racist.

  2. Chip Kelly won a power struggle for control of personnel just a couple months ago. If people want to start digging for the source of all this bad publicity that Chip Kelly is getting, wouldn’t it be common sense to begin with the guy who lost that power struggle?

  3. Good decision. You can’t make decisions based on emotion, you have to do what’s the best interest of the team, and keeping Cooper was the best idea

  4. Funny how if you banned every player who’s made a racist comment… not even just that but every player who’s uttered the n word and we would be seeing a pretty lackluster nfl season this year.

  5. Weren’t his teammates supporting him as well? Seems like giving Cooper a second chance isn’t something that should only fall on Kelly…but, I guess that would eliminate some of the narrative.

  6. I doubt that Kelly is anything more than a football centric coach without interpersonal skills. He looks at things from a football & salary cap prospective. Riley Cooper will only be on the Eagles roster as long as his contract numbers work. This will likely be his last season in Philly.

  7. That contract is questionable. Coopers a bum. Easily the worst receiver in the league. You don’t pay a guy almost 5 million a year to block.

  8. It’s easy to dismiss this issue because Kelly has plenty of non-white players on his roster. All the crying about political-correctness, blah, blah, blah. The SEC has plenty of non-white players, but how many non-white head coaches have they had? Does that mean there simply aren’t qualified non-whites to be head coaches in college football? Bear Bryant held out from having non-whites on his roster until the early 70s because he couldn’t compete anymore without them. Did that mean he wasn’t racist? Why, even a number of slave owners cared for their slaves and treated them fairly before abolition of slavery. Did that mean they weren’t racist?

    Racism is alive and well in this country. Just look at all the cops who’ve committed murder of non-whites but haven’t spent a moment in prison. It’s an old story really, but it’s just as new today as well.

    Of course, none of this means Kelly is a racist. But it doesn’t mean he isn’t.

  9. This is the world we live in today. A white guy get plastered and sez the n word 3 years ago and the media is still talking about it. McCoy get on a podium and slanders Kelly and calls him a racist and when asked to clear what he said he doesn’t and the media 2 weeks later the media moves on from him. I could just see them all talking to each other, Hey let’s head back to Philly That white WR is still on that team right! You know the one that got drunk and said the n word, that story is only 3 years old. Let’s dig it back up. You know maybe some people see race in every aspect of life even if it isn’t there. That’s ok they have therapy for that.

  10. this is so absurd…so riley cooper can’t say a word because he is white?….whose the racist again?

  11. Cooper used a bad word during a verbal altercation. He should have just broken the guy’s jaw and gotten less flack for it.

  12. Chip Kelly is not a racist and Mike Vick helped repair Cooper’s image and saved his career. The way I see it, Kelly is getting rid of all the trouble makers/overpaid players and bringing in his own guys.

    I am black BTW and I like Kelly’s approach.

  13. Chip Kelly sought the advice of Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten, Tony Dungy, and Harry Edwards when the Cooper video surfaced. All advised Kelly to keep Cooper on the team. Mike Vick and Jason Avant also spoke up for Cooper. Cooper being on the Eagles runs deeper than Chip Kelly.

    Chip Kelly gave Cooper a 2nd chance. Just like he did some of his college players who needed a 2nd chance. LaGarret Blount, Josh Huff, and Kiko Alonso to name a few.

    Chip Kelly also visited Victor Cruz in the hospital after Cruz tore his patella tendon. He also took a goodwill trip to Africa to educate.

  14. What a stupid question/topic.

    Cooper said the n-word. Big deal. Guess what? He probably also knows a couple of funny jokes about a rabbi, a black guy, and a frenchman walking into a bar.
    It is irrelevant and does not make him a racist or a bad person or teammate.

  15. Keep stirring the pot. He was caught on tape using the N word to describe a bunch of people (mostly white) at a country music concert. He didn’t call a black person the word or use it to describe black people. It is certainly not PC but doesn’t immediately make him racist.

  16. Riley Cooper may be kind of an idiot but even he knew not to touch this question. Smart move not to answer a stupid question like that. Chip Kelly is crazy yes but racist no.

  17. Certainly Cooper walked away after hearing and answering the first question. This was headed someplace that Cooper could only end up looking bad if he answered something that could be taken in another context. Smart move and every player in the NFL should take note…..walk before you talk in a racially exploitative situation.

  18. Nothing wrong with rooting for (or favoring) a players you personally like because of a similar cultural back ground. That doesn’t mean you hate any other race, it just means you like a particular kid and want to see him succeed.

    Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell speaks very highly of Toby Gerhart and he is the worst running back on the Jags right now….but they are pulling for him because they like him personally. Does that make them racist too?

  19. It was actually Mike Vick and DeMeco Ryans who stood up for him in the locker room. They are black. Stop digging.

  20. Neanderthals look out for each other. Riley Cooper and Chip Kelly need to be sent back to their caves in the Caucus Mountains. They were not invited here.

  21. It was Roseman that signed Cooper, not Kelly. I do not remember Chip ever saying he views Cooper as “one the core members of Kelly’s Eagles”. You’re adding your own narrative.

    I’m sure if he could cut Cooper without it resulting in dead money, he would, at least if he didn’t take a pay cut. Drafting 3 receivers in the first 3 rounds (Agholor 1st round, Matthews 2nd round, Huff 3rd round) the last 2 drafts isn’t exactly a huge vote of confidence in Cooper.

  22. Chip Kelly is not a racist…but, Riley Cooper is. Kelly hurt his reputation with some (maybe many) of his black players not by getting rid of the Eagles’ black stars, but, by keeping Cooper.

    Let’s move on.

  23. If Cooper has damaged Kelly’s reputation in any way, it’s not because of a racial slur. It’s because he got a big contract extension and failed to deliver much. After one decent season, he was ranked near the bottom by PFF last year. He has enough size/speed to be decent jump ball type down the field, but he isn’t a consistently productive player. He produces at hardly more than replacement level and makes $5 million.

  24. Talk is cheap.

    Toothpick Mesean, injured Maclin, good but old Avant…

    He was the only decent blocker in WR group at that time..

    I’m sure he would have roasted much more than now If he cut Cooper

  25. R we really still talking about this??? Oh madone, uh who cares? Can we move on now? Next thing we’ll here is that Chip shot Michael Brown, that poor thing 😳

  26. I hate the eagles, but have to admit this is one of the dumber narratives in all of sports. Kelly is obviously an ego maniac, which is why he runs many people the wrong way. He’s received gushing admiration from fans and pundits, crying out “Genius!” at the mere mentioning of his name. All of this forms a perfect stew of continued frustration and losing for a franchise that deserves nothing more than that. Good luck with you 7-9 season and your ego-tripping wonderboy coach.

  27. As a black man. .it’s clear to me Chip Is Not racist. He replaced 1 black player (McCoy),for 2 black Rb’s and a Latin Lb…replaced white Qb for a native Amer. Qb…released-traded 2 white OL -Mathis & Herremans. But. .by keeping Cooper. Mandatory re-up ping his deal..while he jettisoned pro bowlers??? Some black players are angry he kept some 1 that offended them…and your asking them to trust,follow you..go to war with a man they resent..that is why the so called racist dynamic exists. As long as Cooper is there..some will never be OK with that. Doesn’t make it right..but

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