Riley Cooper’s presence on the Eagles’ roster seems to inflame Smith, who questions why he is still here and DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Shady McCoy — all African-Americans — are gone.
By Peter Gleason
Someone needs to inform Stephen A. Smith of the age-old axiom:
When you are in a hole, stop digging.
On Monday, he made comments on his ESPN show that certainly implied that Eagles coach Chip Kelly was a racist, witness the fact that “strong personalities” Shady McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are no longer on the team.
On Tuesday, when his numb-nuts partner Skip Bayless suggested that perhaps that is why Frank Gore changed his mind and is signing with Indy instead of Philly, Smith kept digging:
“And I pointed out how DeSean Jackson is gone, LeSean McCoy is gone, Jeremy Maclin is gone, but Riley Cooper is still here. I wonder why that is? That has obviously provoked some people to sit there and say I went on the air and called Chip Kelly racist. That is a lie, that is false, that is inaccurate. But it’s not surprising, because that’s what people want to do sometimes, just because they have a problem with you because I do have the ability to make some people uncomfortable, sometimes. I must acknowledge it actually makes me smile, it doesn’t bother me one bit. I know I’m going to make people uncomfortable sometimes, sitting in this chair. Such is life.”
Smith also went on to say that former Eagles offensive lineman Tra Thomas has said on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia that some of the team’s African-American players feel like they are treated differently by Kelly, that Smith doesn’t know Kelly well enough to label him, but that: (1) the decision to get rid of Jackson, McCoy, and Maclin but to keep Cooper is confusing; and (2) Kelly needs to remove that confusion.
“I have a right to sit back and legitimately ask the question. What is your agenda? Culturally, personality-wise. You’ve got nine players from Oregon. Is it gonna be the Oregon Ducks . . . or is there something else going on? I have a right to ask that question, and I don’t care what anybody says.
“You’ve got people in Philadelphia that literally look at Chip Kelly and say, ‘What’s up with this dude?’” Smith said. “Now, they don’t know. They ain’t calling him out. They’re not labeling him. They’re not defining him. But they are asking questions. What’s up with this dude when a DeSean Jackson, a LeSean McCoy, a Jeremy Maclin’s gone but Riley Cooper’s here. What is up with that? I’m sorry, but I have a right to ask that question.”