Cooper excused from team activities
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper has been excused from team activities for an undefined period of time, according to a team release.
Cooper was fined by the team earlier this week after video surfaced of him making a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert. He does not face more penalties. He immediately issued an apology for his remarks and members of his team began weighing in on his comments.
On Friday, the team released a statement saying that he would be excused from team activities for now.
"As we have said, Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities,” read the statement, posted on PhiladelphiaEagles.com. “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."
Cooper was selected in the fifth round of the 2010 draft by the Eagles out of the University of Florida. He has just 46 catches and five touchdowns in three years with the Eagles, but has been practicing with the starters since Jeremy Maclin’s season-ending injury last week.
Teammates Michael Vick, Jason Avant and others said they forgave Cooper for the remarks. LeSean McCoy echoed that sentiment, but said that he doesn't view him the same anymore.
Cooper has also released a statement on Friday addressing being excused from activities.
"The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me,” it read. “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."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.