NEW YORK (Reuters) – Philadelphia wide receiver Riley Cooper has been excused from training with his team to undergo counseling for making a racially insensitive comment, the Eagles announced on Friday.
Cooper had already been fined an undisclosed amount by the Eagles and had apologized to his team mates over the comments, which were captured on video while he was at a concert.
On Friday, the Eagles issued a statement saying Cooper, whose racist slur has drawn criticism from both inside and outside the National Football League, would not be any involved in any team activities while he was undergoing counseling.
“This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way,” the statement said.
“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 team mates.”
Cooper also released a statement on Friday, saying he was appalled at his own behavior and that he agreed with the Eagles’ decision.
“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,” he said.
“Right now, I think it’s important for me to take some time to reflect on this situation. The organization and my team mates 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.”
(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Gene Cherry)