Believe it or not, athletes are human beings just like everyone else. Equally amazing, human beings occasionally say things they regret, things they don’t mean and things that should not be said, particularly when alcohol is involved. That being said, what is happening to Philadelphia Eagles WR Riley Cooper is completely ludicrous.
It’s a given that he messed up. Had this not been caught on camera, very little, if anything, would have happened. Unfortunately for Cooper, it was.
Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, people say things like this every day. In all likelihood, that will never change.
But for the entire sports media world to come out and berate Cooper about how epic of a mistake this is, along with proposing the idea that he may not play football for a while, is completely unwarranted. He made a very sincere apology, and while that does not excuse his actions, it’s a big step. Most of his teammates, including QB Michael Vick, have said publicly that they have forgiven him, so why can’t the media?
It may not be the most popular thing to say, but the monetary fine was enough.
When Kobe Bryant used a homophobic slur, he was fined $100,000 and the world forgot within a couple weeks. The same should have been the case for Cooper. At a time where Aaron Hernandez is on trial for murder and numerous MLB stars are facing possible suspensions, the biggest news is Cooper’s racial slur.
Again, that’s not to say he should be excused. He’s an athlete, someone that people look up to, and he has to understand that even though he’s not one of the premier stars in the NFL, he has a responsibility to his team and his fans. So while people do indeed do things like this on a daily basis, professional athletes who do it do deserve some sort of punishment.
But let’s be reasonable here. Cooper is now going to attend counseling for his problems. Is he attending counseling for being a racist, or for his now-alleged alcoholism? Either way, it’s an unnecessary step.
More than likely, it’s only a media ploy to try to get them off his back. And if that’s the case, then have at it — hopefully it will alleviate some of this ridiculousness.
The man messed up, and that is not up for debate. But come on — this is getting out of control.