Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, expected to play an integral role for his team this season after teammate Jeremy Maclin went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament early in training camp, was caught on camera recently dropping the a racial slur (the N-word) at a Kenny Chesney concert.
Deadspin.com first posted the video Tuesday afternoon, and Cooper was quick to address his racist remark head-on.
“I am so ashamed and disgusted with myself,” he said in a statement. “I want to apologize. I have been offensive. I have apologized to my coach, Jeffrey Lurie, and Howie Roseman, and to my teammates. I owe an apology to the fans and to this community. I am so ashamed, but there are no excuses. What I did was wrong and I will accept the consequences.”
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie subsequently released a statement of his own: “We are shocked and appalled by Riley Cooper’s words. This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society. He has accepted responsibility for his words and his actions. He has been fined for this incident.“
The NFL league office soon followed suit: “The NFL stands for diversity and inclusion. Comments like this are wrong, offensive, and unacceptable.”
The fine assessed to Cooper appears to have been substantial as he told the media it was for a “good amount of money…but that’s really not important. The situation should not have [gone down] the way I dealt with it.”
Cooper explained that he was drunk during the concert and made the remark at an African-American security guard after an altercation, though he noted that being under the influence of alcohol was “no excuse for what I said and what I did.” He also said the N-word is not a term he normally uses and that he had never uttered it before.