During a Kenny Chesney music concert in June, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was caught on video saying a racial slur. The Eagles released a statement regarding Cooper’s status on the team saying, “We are shocked and appalled by Riley Cooper’s words. This sort of behavior or attitude from anyone has no role in a civil society. ”
Cooper later released a statement apologizing and calling his actions, “inexcusable.” He asked his teammates, many of whom are African American, to forgive him for his actions, and to judge him by his future. Many of his teammates have been supportive when Cooper returned to practice on August 6th after paying a fine to the team. Cooper is not the first person in the public eye to face backlash after using a racial slur. Recently, former Food Network star Paula Deen came under fire when it was revealed she had used racial slurs. She lost several endorsements and her popular show.
Is a fine and counseling a suitable punishment for Cooper? How will his teammates react in the locker room? How do you react when a friend or coworker uses a racial slur? Can this be forgivable? Are certain racial slurs more acceptable than others?