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Eagles receiver Riley Cooper stepping away from football

August 02, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper says he's stepping away from football for a time.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper says he's stepping… (Michael Perez / Associated…)

Riley Cooper has decided to step away from the NFL for an undetermined amount of time.

The Philadelphia Eagles receiver, who was caught on camera using a racist slur for black people, released a statement Friday saying he needs time to “reflect on the situation.”

“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me,” Cooper said. “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.”

Cooper said he plans to speak 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 Eagles, who were planning to rely on Cooper to pick up some of the receiving slack after a season-ending injury to Jeremy Maclin, said they have excused the former Florida player from all team-related activities. Cooper had already been fined by the team.

“This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way,” the team said in a news release. “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.”


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