There are certain words that are off limits and Riley Cooper said one of those words while at a concert and subsequently it was posted on-line. Cooper apologized in a statement and the Philadelphia Eagles fined him late Wednesday afternoon. There are two problems that Cooper has, one is his teammates and the other is the NFL code of conduct.
First up Riley Cooper has to face his teammates, the majority of which are black. He catches passes from a black quarterback in Michael Vick. A lot of times your teammates know you best so maybe Cooper and his Eagles teammates can forgive and forget. It will be important to see who and how many of his teammates come to his defense. Cooper's other challenge will be in the other black players he faces that are cornerback's, safeties and linebackers. How many of those guys when given the opportunity will take a cheap shot at him and gladly take the fine. No one is condoning this but there are a lot of players who will feel that his apology means nothing and will want to make a statement by knocking him into next week.
Finally the National Football League almost has to step in and suspend him under the personal conduct policy that they have in place. The NFL has been under seige this offseason with nearly 80 arrests, ranging from DUI's to first degree murder with the Aaron Hernandez saga. America's new national past time cannot a have one of its players hurl racist epiteths and in a league with a large base of minority players and fan base, and do nothing. The problem could be if the Players Union will fight any discipline especially since the Eagles fined him. The Eagles and the league have to tread carefully in the coming days.
Could Cooper find himself without a team and out of football if the heat gets too hot for him and the NFL? Is this offense so bad that teammates may not forgive him? Would love to know your thoughts....