Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, traded to Buffalo in March after six stellar seasons with Philadelphia, essentially accused Eagles coach Chip Kelly of racism in an interview with ESPN.
Speaking with ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter Mike Rodak, who asked him about his comment to The Philadelphia Inquirer that Kelly doesn’t “like or respect stars” and followed by asking what the problem was with Kelly and how the relationship ended, McCoy answered:
The relationship was never really great. I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason. … It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that.
When he was asked how many other players had similar feelings, McCoy doubled down on his statement, adding:
Oh, man. People have heard it. I mean … Stephen A. Smith has talked about it. Other players have talked about it. But that’s one of the things where you don’t even care no more. I’m on a new team, ready to play. So it’s nothing to do with Chip. I have no hatred toward him, nothing to say negative about him. When he got [to Philadelphia], I didn’t know what to expect. When he let DeSean go last year, I was like: “C’mon. DeSean Jackson?” So it is what it is.
McCoy had established himself as a star, ranking third in the NFL in rushing yards since he was drafted in 2009; DeSean Jackson, a star wide receiver, was released by the Eagles in March 2014 after they allegedly discovered he had ties to Los Angeles street gangs. The Eagles released Jackson rather than trade him because they didn’t want other teams to be taken unaware of his off-the-field activities.
Kelly hasn’t just traded black players. In March, he traded away quarterback Nick Foles, who had a spectacular 2013 when he threw 27 TD passes and only two interceptions and overall boasted a 14-4 record in two seasons for Kelly, to the St. Louis Rams for quarterback Sam Bradford. He signed Tim Tebow, and generally revamped the Eagles roster to reflect his priorities, which include character.
McCoy reminisced about his ties to Pennsylvania, where he had spent his entire life, from childhood in Harrisburg to college in Pittsburgh and to the NFL in Philadelphia. He said, “Everybody who’s been influential in my life was just a phone call away, an hour away, two hours at the most. And everybody got to see me play — friends I grew up with, families that have supported me, coaches. My son, I could see him as much as I wanted. But it’s a business. I’m happy here. Great coaching staff. It’s actually a nice city.”
He added of his new surroundings, “To be honest, I didn’t want to come. I really didn’t. I was so angry at first. You take a guy who’s made his whole name and career in Philadelphia and move him. I didn’t know anything about Buffalo, so I didn’t want to go. But when you sit back and you really analyze just the good things here, it makes a lot of things better.”
Asked about his future, he answered, “I’m gonna show them this year. There’s guys like Frank Gore who are still playing very well. DeMarco Murray is older than me. Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch — all the best backs are older than me.”