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Riley Cooper avoids topic of whether he damages Chip Kelly’s image

Chip Kelly, Riley Cooper


Eagles coach Chip Kelly acknowledged last week that his handling of the 2013 Riley Cooper controversy could be why Kelly has faced accusations of racism. Cooper would like to think that’s not the case.

Cooper was asked by a reporter today if he thinks Kelly standing up for him last year tarnished Kelly’s image. Cooper answered, “I hope not.”

But Cooper didn’t want to address the topic, according to, and so he ignored a follow-up question and walked away.

Two years ago, Cooper was caught on tape making racist comments. Kelly sent him home from training camp and distanced himself from the comments, but within a few days Cooper was welcomed back to the team, and after the season Cooper signed a $22.5 million contract extension.

Kelly has made it clear that he thinks highly of Cooper and wants him to be one of the core members of Kelly’s Eagles, and that has raised questions in some quarters about whether Kelly has a blind spot on matters of race. Those are questions Cooper doesn’t want to answer.