Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper on leave after using racial slur

The wide receiver will undergo sensitivity training and "take time to reflect"

By Prachi Gupta
Published August 2, 2013 7:50PM (EDT)

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper is taking temporary leave after he was caught using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert. A statement from the Eagles said, "Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities."

On Wednesday, a video of Cooper threatening to "fight every [n-word] here" went viral, even eliciting a response from Chesney, who was "shocked" by Cooper's words.

"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," said the statement.

Cooper, who apologized in a press conference on Wednesday, said in a statement, "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.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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N-word Philadelphia Eagles Racial Slurs Racism Riley Cooper Sensitivity Training