Eagles dismiss Riley Cooper from team activities as he seeks counseling
Could this be the beginning of the end for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper? On Friday, the team announced that Cooper has been excused from all team activities so he can seek counseling in the wake of his recent racist outburst that was caught on camera.
“As we have said, Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities,” the Eagles said in a statement. “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.”
On Thursday, ESPN reported that Cooper practiced with his teammates but stood alone between drills and spoke with no one. Comments from prominent players like LeSean McCoy have made it clear that the team is very upset with the wide receiver.
“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me,” Cooper said in a statement. “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 short period of time.”
Cooper added that he will be speaking with a “variety of professionals” to determine the best course of action for the “healing process.” Now, the obvious question is if this will be the first step the Eagles take toward cutting the 25-year-old. If his teammates are not willing to forgive him and tension in the locker room is unavoidable, Chip Kelly may have no choice.