Michael Vick begins the process of forgiving Riley Cooper

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

With Eagles receiver Riley Cooper facing all kinds of heat for using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert, at least one Vick brother forgives him.

No, not Marcus Vick, who continues to use Twitter for his unfiltered thoughts and tweeted out Wednesday a $1,000 bounty on Cooper, but the Vick brother who's actually relevant in NFL discussions: quarterback Michael Vick.

“What if your son or daughter made a mistake of this factor? How would you want people to perceive it? I've been there before,” Vick said, via USA Today.

"[Cooper] being my brother, knowing him for so long, it's hard to defend him saying that. At the same, time, it happened. We talked about it man to man, one on one. We just know that we have to some way move on. It's a very delicate situation. But we all understand. Somehow we all have to find a way to get past it. That's maturity in itself.''

Vick, of course, knows something about asking for public forgiveness and finding maturity after he served a 21-month sentence for dog fighting. But for Vick, a high-profile African-American in the high-profile NFL, to so publicly forgive Cooper and his racial slur, well, maybe that's the beginning of Cooper's redemption. Maybe.

“Riley is still my teammate,” Vick said. “And he just stood in front of us as a man and apologized for what he said. And somewhere deep down, you have to find some level of respect for that. Riley wished he never said it.”

Cooper already has been fined by the Eagles, and commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday he doesn't plan any other punishments.



Said Eagles safety Kurt Coleman: "I'm a man of mixed culture, I'm bi-racial, so I understand everything. Do I feel the comment was insensitive? Yeah. And he knows that. I've been called a lot of things. But I think Riley is a good man. I really do. I have his back. It's going to build a lot of character in him. It's a tough situation, but we've got to move together as a team.”

Cooper apologized to his team during a talk-through Wednesday, and coach Chip Kelly gave the Eagles five minutes to discuss and diffuse the situation.

No matter what his teammates think of him, they appear to support Cooper publicly. Which probably is the first step toward the team moving on from Cooper's nasty comment.

 
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