Chip Kelly does not regret keeping Riley Cooper despite racism accusations

It’s been about two years since Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was caught on camera shouting out racial slurs to an African-American guard at a concert.

At that time many thought that might be the end of the line for Cooper, who afterwards apologized for the incident. Despite the situation, head coach Chip Kelly kept Cooper on the roster and recently signed him to a five-year extension.

In light of recent comments made by cornerback Brandon Boykin that could be misconstrued as racism by Kelly, he was asked about his decision to keep Cooper and if he now regrets it (via NJ.com):

“I think he regrets what he did that day every single day,” Kelly said of Cooper. “I see that in him. But do I regret what I did in terms of how I handled that? No I don’t.”

There has also been a debate as to whether Kelly has a problem behind closed doors stemming from a comment made by former offensive line coach Tra Thomas who said there was a “hint of racism” in the locker room.

Reporting on his decision to keep Cooper, Kelly said he wasn’t the only one on the team who backed the receiver:

“I think Riley made a mistake. We all backed him. Michal (Vick) did, Jason (Avant) did. That’s part of being a team and an organization,” Kelly said. “I look at that as a specific incident and he was 100% wrong. Those are things that should never be said and I hope he learned his lesson.”

The racism topic was also brought rcently up by former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who accused Kelly of getting rid of “all the good black players” after he was traded to the Buffalo Bills.

When asked if not cutting Cooper and accusations of racism could be correlated, Kelly responded:

“There could be. But don’t spend a lot of time trying to connect X to Y to Z.”

Obviously Kelly has other issues at hand to worry about. And, the people who want to connect the dots will.

For now, if anyone has an issue with Kelly and racism, they are to take it up his Hispanic quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez has Kelly’s back.


Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports