The Philadelphia Eagles announced Friday that wide receiver Riley Cooper has been excused from all team activities while he seeks counseling.
“As we have said, Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities. This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way. He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates.”
Riley Cooper released the following statement:
“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me. 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.”
Cooper’s teammate Michael Vick said Wednesday that he forgave the wide receiver for the racial slur. But running back LeSean McCoy said Thursday that he’s lost all respect for Cooper and said at practice most of the players didn’t interact with him.
“I forgive him. We’ve been friends for a long time,” said McCoy. “But in a situation like this, you really find out about someone. Just on a friendship level, I can’t really respect someone like that.”
“I don’t think he’ll get the same treatment and people talking to him as he did before the incident happened,” added MCoy. “Which is expected, though. I don’t think you say things like that and think that everything will be the same. He’s looked at differently.
“Not only just him, but anybody. It’s like, ‘Are you the same person?’ [There isn’t] a point where I’m pissed off at a person where I’ll just say something racial. It’s more anger at the person.