On Monday’s “First Take” on ESPN2, host Stephen A. Smith was discussing the recent moves made by the Philadelphia Eagles where they allowed their best wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to hit free agency, cut longtime defensive standout Trent Cole and traded their best running back LeSean McCoy for a player that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly coached during his days at the University of Oregon. The previous year, the Eagles cut wide receiver DeSean Jackson despite being their best wide receiver the season before. All of these athletes leaving Philadelphia happen to be black athletes, while the one traded for is not.
According to Stephen A. Smith, these moves are making him, as well as other black people, wonder if these moves are racially charged because the Eagles have held onto a white, below average wide receiver named Riley Cooper, who had a video surface in 2013 of him using racial slurs at a Kenny Chesney concert, but not Maclin, Cole, McCoy or Jackson.
“Can I say it? It’s gonna be controversial. Chip Kelly makes decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable. We’re sitting here looking at some of the decisions Chip Kelly makes and I’m like, what’s up with that? You got to be his kind of guy, you know, and I’m like, Riley Cooper is your kind of guy?
He later added, “The culture is what resonates with me more profoundly because I’m looking at Chip Kelly and, I’m like, really? Now, you got to remember, Skip, where did I work for 16 years? This is Philadelphia. You know what I’m saying? I’m always in Philly. I’m telling you right now, you got people walking the streets — hell with it — you got brothers walking the streets going like this: “What’s up with Chip?” I don’t understand it. I really don’t understand.”
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