The Case For Riley Cooper

Aug 02, 2013 -- 2:56pm

Racism has, and always will be, a sensitive subject. To degrade someone else based on their color, nationality or heritage is just plain wrong. I believe that people should be judged based on their character and actions, not by the color of their skin. That being said, I believe this whole thing with Philadelphia Eagles’ receiver Riley Cooper has been blown way out of proportion.

In case you haven’t seen it, there was a video that surfaced on Wednesday showing Cooper using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert a couple of months ago at Lincoln Financial Field.  It shows a seemingly intoxicated and angry Cooper yelling “I will jump that fence and fight every n*gger here, bro!” after being denied back-stage access.

Riley Cooper's Racial Slur at Kenney Chesney Concert

The leak of the video was followed by a media firestorm, and Cooper, who has since apologized, has been dismissed from team activities. I think this is way too much, and I’ll tell you why.  

Riley Cooper Apology

First off, there is undoubtedly a double-standard in America. Sorry if that hurts, but it’s the truth. If a black man calls another a n*gger, no one bats an eye. Have a listen to the Billboard Top 100 rap songs. If you got rid of all the songs featuring the N-word, then you’d only be left with a handful. Black artists and athletes use it freely, and at times it even sounds like a term of endearment. But have a white person say it, and people begin calling for his head. He gets banished from the team, and whatever cook book he’s trying to sell gets taken off the shelves.

Now, don’t get me wrong, what Riley Cooper did wasn’t right, but if it’s wrong for one man, shouldn’t it be wrong for everyone? It seems to me that racism is about separating people based on color, right? So, if a person of one color says something and it’s okay, but a person of a different color says the same thing and is berated for it, isn’t that racism?

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: the N-word shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone; black, white, Hispanic, Asian, whatever. It’s offensive, and anyone who uses it should be held accountable.  If Lil’ Wayne uses it in a song, he should be reprimanded. If Macklemore uses it in a song, the same. And Pit Bull and William Hung and so on and so on. And just because it’s a degrading word for YOUR race doesn’t mean you should make it YOUR own. For example, “Cracker” is my word and only my white friends can call me that. If I hear my Hispanic friends saying it, I’m going to kick their a**. That doesn’t make much sense to me, what about you?

People of different races should celebrate their differences, but not to the point of putting others down. I know I have a lot of friends who back me up on this. They’re proud of where they came from, and I’m proud of where I come from. We enjoy talking about, and even learning about, each other’s differences. It’s when one side “takes up arms” against another that we cross that threshold.

Lastly, the Eagles of all people should understand forgiveness. If Michael Vick can kill dogs, serve a two-year sentence and become the starting quarterback, then I think Riley Cooper can be let back on the team. He’s apologized, and I believe that most of his teammates have forgiven him. There will be some who are hurt, but they have to realize that Riley Cooper is just a man that makes mistakes, same as you and me. That’s why I found it even more fascinating when I saw this tweet by Vick’s brother, Marcus.

You remember Marcus; he's the one that stomped on another player with his cleat and has a rap sheet about as long as my arm…

Marcus Vick Stomps on Elvis Dumervil

The fact that he has twitter followers is amazing, but what is even more amazing is that he thinks he can sit in judgment of another person after all the crap he’s pulled. #smh #cantbelieveit.

I just hope the media will stop feeding this “racist” flame and call the situation what it really is; a lapse in judgment. If Riley Cooper really is a racist, do you think he could have survived playing football for all these years? It’s time to forgive and forget and let this guy back on the field. I don’t want to hear the Eagles putting up excuses when the Cowboys beat them twice in 2013. 

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