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Eagles to provide Cooper outside assistance

The SportsXchange

The Philadelphia Eagles and wide receiver Riley Cooper mutually determined that seeking understanding of his words and actions would require "outside assistance."

Cooper is under fire for making derogatory racially insensitive comments captured on video during a Kenny Chesney concert. He was fined by the Eagles, and commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday the NFL wouldn't take further action.

"In meeting with Riley yesterday, we decided together that his next step will be to seek outside assistance to help him fully understand the impact of his words and actions," the Eagles announced in a statement. "He needs to reflect. As an organization, we will provide the resources he needs to do so."

Coach Chip Kelly, who wasn't scheduled to meet with the media Thursday but made an exception to discuss the team's handling of the Cooper incident, said the Eagles will not sweep the comments under the rug. Kelly said he was "appalled" by Cooper when he saw the video and doesn't believe there's any instant salve for the wounds created in or outside of the locker room.

"It's going to take some time," Kelly said.

Goodell stressed that the NFL stands for "diversity and inclusion."

"He has accepted responsibility for it. He has spoken to his team. He has been disciplined by the club and will go through some training with the club to understand," he said.

"I'm glad to see the club stepped up and took a decisive action quickly. That's the important part of this. We do not penalize at the club level and the league level for the same incident ... that's something we have an agreement in our collective bargaining agreement not to do. So we will not be taking action separately from the club."

Quarterback Michael Vick said the team is ready to move on after Cooper apologized on Wednesday for using a racial slur in a video that went viral.

"He apologized for what he did, and as a team we understood," Vick said Wednesday evening, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We all make mistakes in life and we all do and say things that maybe we do mean or we don't mean. But as a teammate, I forgave him."

Not everyone is ready to move on.

Running back LeSean McCoy told NFL Network that the most difficult part of dealing with the situation is that he lost a friend.

"I can't respect a guy like that," said McCoy.

Cooper, who is getting his first chance to start in the NFL after veteran Jeremy Maclin suffered a season-ending knee injury, was shown in a video taken at a Kenny Chesney concert shouting "I will fight every n----- here."

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie acknowledged Cooper had been fined.

"We are shocked and appalled by Riley Cooper's words," Lurie said in a statement. "This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society. He has accepted responsibility for his words and his actions. He has been fined for this incident."

Earlier on Wednesday, Cooper apologized in a statement issued through the Eagles.

"I am so ashamed and disgusted with myself. I want to apologize," the statement read. "I have been offensive. I have apologized to my coach, to Jeffrey Lurie, to Howie Roseman and to my teammates. I owe an apology to the fans and to this community. I am so ashamed, but there are no excuses. What I did was wrong and I will accept the consequences."
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