When I first heard about the Riley Cooper incident I didn't feel the need to comment on the subject. I figured the media would blow things out of proportion for a few days and then the story would die down. Riley Cooper would issue a heart felt, well rehearsed, media friendly apology that fans and teammates would begrudgingly accept. To my surprise the latter did not occur.
The Philadelphia Eagles players did not come to the defense of Riley Cooper choosing instead to express their displeasure, distrust, and disappointment. Michael Vick tried to rally the team together and after one day realized the situation was hopeless. The day following his apology Riley Cooper spent the entire practice standing by himself. After being excused from team activities to undergo counseling for his insensitive remarks Cooper returns to the practice field today. Will things be different?
Absolutely not. Him teammates have spoken. The damage is done and the players are unwilling to forgive and forget. It will always be in the back of their minds that Riley Cooper is a racist. Anyone that comes to his defense or gives him the benefit of the doubt will be looked upon as a traitor. His mere presence in the locker room is a distraction and a source of irritation.
Personally, I question how long Riley Cooper can last in the NFL. If the team that knows him the best has chosen not to embrace him why would another team take on that can of worms? It's unlikely his talent level would push a team over the hump and most likely his presence would rip a team apart. His affect would make Terrell Owens look like a walk in the park by comparison. I can't see a team taking the risk of ruining their franchise for a marginal player. Your thoughts?