“He, who is without sin, among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
And, one by one, each man dropped his stone and walked away.
Then Jesus looked upon the woman and asked her if any of the men were still there to condemn her. When she answered no one was left to do so, Jesus said that he would not do so either and then said Go and sin no more.
He forgave her. He did not absolve her of committing her crime/sin but instead he forgave her of her act.”
Where I am going with this?
And before we go on, let me interject, although my background is strongly Christian, I am not what I would call a Christian, or for that matter a believer in organized religion, by anyone’s standards: A theist in some obscure indescribable form, yes; a Christian/Religionist, no, not in any manner, shape or form. So, although I have quoted from the Bible I use it only as I would use any other source at my disposal and not from any slanted point of view.
For anyone who has been living under a rock. Cooper is the guy who got drunk at a Kenny Chesney concert at Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia) in June and when he was refused backstage entry to see Chesney by a security guard, who happened to be “black” and doing his job (keeping inebriated fools from bothering the talent) he became piqued and said something that has gotten people quite riled.
But, before he even got to the point of confrontation with the guard, Cooper was involved in a confrontation in the parking lot. Video released back on June 9 via Crossing Broad shows he is confronting two men and while the footage shows the men yelling at each other, there are no punches.
Then on, or around, July 31, Crossing Board showed a new video of Cooper from inside the concert area that eventually went viral. And, it is this video that shows Cooper angrily pointing towards someone and ranting, “I will jump that fence and fight every nigger here.”
Cooper admits that he was speaking to a person who is an African American security guard and what some people would call a black security guard. (These two distinctions will be contrasted throughout this extended op-ed piece.) And, Cooper says, “There was a confrontation with me and one of the security guards. I’m not going to get into what happened. I said something that was actually disgusting and terrible. I shouldn’t have handled it the way I handled it.”
Cooper also admitted he was drunk or at least that he had been drinking before the incident and directly says: “I was drinking but that is no excuse for what I said and what I did. Absolutely not.”
Michael Vick, a current teammate, says he had spoken with Cooper for about 15 minutes and then said that Cooper addressed the team during an open dialogue session. “Riley came to us as a man and apologized for what he did,” Vick said. “As a team we understood because we all make mistakes in life and we all do and say things that maybe we do mean and maybe we don’t mean. But as a teammate I forgave him. We understand the magnitude of the situation. We understand a lot of people may be hurt and offended, but I know Riley Cooper. I know him as a man. I’ve been with him for the last three years and I know what type of person he is. That’s what makes it easy, and at the same time, hard to understand. But easy to forgive him.”
Many of Cooper’s teammate and other players throughout the NFL have said similar things. Not all, but what I would consider a majority did. If Vick, and these other NFL players, can practice the graciousness of forgiveness then maybe we, the media and the general public, as well as NFL upper management, should too. Why? Because in the great scheme of all that is reality there are a whole host of other problems that are just simply more, much more, important to be to dealt with and resolved. This is not to belittle what may, or may not, have happened in Cooper’s situation but the facts as presented all indicate that this is an incident of a simple fool being simply a very stupid and simple fool. As the case represents, Cooper is a somewhat famous, in the public eye fool, simple fool, but, still exactly that… a fool, who said something that appears was out of character and not of his everyday persona.
Then this news came out on ESPN shortly after Coopers apology was issued and made public: “The Eagles fined Cooper an undisclosed amount for his use of the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert last month. The receiver said Wednesday the fine was substantial. Coach Chip Kelly said Thursday the team didn’t contemplate releasing him, however.” The Eagles did not set a timetable for Cooper’s return.
Although Cooper was drinking alcohol when he used the slur, he is not being treated for alcohol use, league sources told ESPN…”
Then the next day ESPN reported that The Eagles said Cooper was to undergo counseling for using a “racial slur”. Specifically, an Eagles’ spokesperson said, “… Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities. This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way. He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates.”
Let me empathize that Cooper is not being referred for treatment, or counseling, for a possible problem with alcohol but rather for using the word nigger (and, yes, I do agree, in this instance, in a racist manner) inappropriately in what appears to be an isolated circumstance.
The word nigger is given more power than it should be given.
Tomorrow: A little bit of History
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