Kenny Chesney: Riley Cooper doesn’t reflect who I am or what my fans stand for
Philadelphia Eagles receiver Riley Cooper could have had his infamous racist outburst anywhere, but it happened to be recorded at a Kenny Chesney concert. There are racist country music fans just like there are racist fans of every other kind of music, but some people instantly want to jump on the “of course it happened at a Kenny Chesney concert” bandwagon.
Chesney doesn’t think that is fair.
“I’m as shocked as anyone to see the video of Riley Cooper that’s started circulating on the internet,” Chesney told ESPN.com’s LZ Granderson. “I don’t believe in discrimination in any form, and I think using language like that is not only unacceptable, it is hateful beyond words.
“To judge an entire audience by one loud mouth isn’t fair … not to the NFL, not to the city of Philadelphia and that awesome crowd, not to my band and crew and certainly not to me, who believes music is about bringing people together for friendship and forgetting about the things in life that bring you down. The music I make is about living life, loving life and loving everybody — no matter who they are. That’s how I was raised, and what someone else does or says doesn’t reflect who I am or what my fans stand for.”
[Related: Michael Vick says he forgives Riley Cooper]
He’s right. Saying that Cooper’s love for country music explains his racially insensitivity is almost as idiotic as Cooper’s comment itself. I’m a country music fan and I’m not racist — period. My friends are country music fans, and they’re not racist. People who say Cooper’s comment had to do with being at a country concert give him an excuse for what he said.
Could there have been more racist fans at Chesney’s concert than there would be at, say, a Jay-Z concert? It’s certainly possible, but stereotyping a group of people to explain one person’s moronic remark accomplishes nothing. If you see videos of other people dropping the N-bomb at Chesney’s concert, feel free to call them bigots too. But for now, let’s not make assumptions based on one idiot’s view.