Philadelphia mayor would give Riley Cooper harsher punishment

Philly mayor Michael Nutter, seen here with the Temple football team, says Riley Cooper's comments are offensive to everyone. (USATSI)
Philly mayor Michael Nutter, seen here with the Temple football team, says Riley Cooper's comments are offensive to everyone. (USATSI)

If Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper worked in the Philadelphia mayor's office, he most likely wouldn't have a job right now. The mayor of Philly, Michael A. Nutter, released a statement Friday on the Cooper situation and in that statement Nutter says he would 'insist on a suspension at a minimum' and  would seriously consider firing him.

Cooper has been under heavy fire after a video emerged on July 31 that shows Cooper using a racial slur at a June 8 Kenny Chesney concert. The Eagles haven't suspended or cut Cooper, but he is currently being excused from team activities to attend counseling. 

"As the Mayor of this City and an African-American man, I find the remarks made by Riley Cooper, repugnant, insensitive and ignorant, and all of us, regardless of race or nationality, should be offended by these comments," Nutter said in the statement, via PFT.  "I recognize that the private sector is very different than the public sector in terms of rules and procedures, but I would note that in our government, if an executive branch ‘at-will’ employee, somewhat similar to Mr. Cooper’s status with the Eagles, made such comments, I would insist on a suspension at a minimum and would seriously have to evaluate terminating such an individual from employment with the City."

At the June 8 concert, Cooper is caught on video saying, ""I will jump that fence and fight every n***** here."

"In a year when we celebrated the great achievements of Jackie Robinson in the movie '42,' it is truly saddening that racial epithets are still being hurled like baseballs, or by a football player, at the human dignity of African-Americans and others," Nutter's statement continued. "This incident is a disgrace, and cannot be excused by just paying a fine, as if it were a parking ticket."

Nutter thinks the Eagles current punishment -- Cooper was fined and is in counseling -- doesn't fit the crime. 

"Mr. Cooper has done something which he clearly knows was wrong and he has accepted personal responsibility, but the punishment should match the intense level of the offense," Nutter said. "It is ultimately up to the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL to determine whether what has been announced as a penalty is enough, but in my opinion it falls short of a serious recognition of just how offensive and hurtful these comments are to African-Americans and other people of good conscience who fight discrimination on many fronts -- race, religion, gender, sexual preference, marriage equality, employment and many other areas."

In the past week, Kenny Chesney has also weighed-in on Cooper's comments, calling them "hateful beyond words." 

The Eagles have said there is no timetable for Cooper's return. 


Follow John Breech on Google+

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    CBS Sports Shop