Riley Cooper returns to Eagles (updated)

August 6, 2013

Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson talk at Eagles practice. (Matt Slocum / AP)

Riley Cooper rejoined his Philadelphia Eagles teammates today, four days after he left to undergo counseling after video of his use of a racial slur came to light and rocked the team.

Cooper declined to discuss the counseling he received when he faced the media after the Eagles’ joint practice with the New England Patriots. He went home to Florida, he said, to visit his parents and said they helped him get through the fallout after video of him using the slur at a Kenny Chesney concert in early June surfaced.

“I don’t want you to forgive me,” he said he told his teammates. “That puts the burden on you. I have to earn your respect.”

Members of the Eagles’ front office, as well as Coach Chip Kelly, met with Cooper, who is expected to play in the team’s preseason opener Friday, before practice.

Then he “talked to everyone individually,” Cooper said. “I realize the people I’ve hurt.”

Cooper’s teammates said they are ready to move on.

“Can I play with him? I was hoping he didn’t have to go anywhere,” Jason Avant said (via Philly.com’s Les Bowen). “People make mistakes. We have people nowadays where as soon as someone says something, ‘stone him!’ … That’s God’s job to judge. I’m here to be his teammate. I’m going to treat him the same way as always, and treat him with love.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

More

Cooper’s comment forgiven, not forgotten

Roger Goodell on Cooper’s slur … and Redskins nickname

Cooper apologizes for racial slur, Michael Vick forgives him

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | August 6, 2013