Philly Mayor: Cooper Punishment Doesn't Fit Crime
Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter suggested the Philadelphia Eagles should consider terminating embattled wide receiver Riley Cooper and said Cooper's punishment did not match the "intense level of the offense."
In a statement released Friday, Nutter shared his thoughts on the situation:
"As the Mayor of this City and an African-American man, I find the
remarks made by Riley Cooper, repugnant, insensitive and ignorant, and
all of us, regardless of race or nationality, should be offended by
these comments. I recognize that the private sector is very different than the public
sector in terms of rules and procedures, but I would note that in our
government, if an executive branch ‘at-will' employee, somewhat similar
to Mr. Cooper's status with the Eagles, made such comments, I would
insist on a suspension at a minimum and would seriously have to evaluate
terminating such an individual from employment with the City."
Nutter added that Cooper, who has been suspended and sent to counseling, ought to received an enhanced punishment from either the league or the Eagles:
"Mr. Cooper has done something which he clearly knows was wrong and he
has accepted personal responsibility, but the punishment should match
the intense level of the offense. It is ultimately up to
the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL to determine whether what has been announced as a penalty
is enough, but in my opinion it falls short of a serious recognition of
just how offensive and hurtful these comments are to African-Americans
and other people of good conscience who fight discrimination on many
fronts -- race, religion, gender, sexual preference, marriage equality,
employment and many other areas."
After a video surfaced in which Cooper was caught using the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert, the Eagles reportedly fined Cooper "a good amount" of money. Cooper was given a leave of absence to attend racial sensitivity classes.