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 theremarks made by Riley Cooper, repugnant, insensitive and ignorant, andall of us, regardless of race or nationality, should be offended bythese comments. I recognize that the private sector is very different than the publicsector in terms of rules and procedures, but I would note that in ourgovernment, if an executive branch ‘at-will’ employee, somewhat similarto Mr. Cooper’s status with the Eagles, made such comments, I wouldinsist on a suspension at a minimum and would seriously have to evaluateterminating 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 hehas accepted personal responsibility, but the punishment should matchthe intense level of the offense. It is ultimately up tothe Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL to determine whether what has been announced as a penaltyis enough, but in my opinion it falls short of a serious recognition ofjust how offensive and hurtful these comments are to African-Americansand other people of good conscience who fight discrimination on manyfronts — 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.