Eagles WR Riley Cooper, seen here issung a public apology last Wednesday, has been on a leave of absence from the team since Friday. (USA Today Images)
The Eagles have been in contact with NFL Security regarding possible threats made to receiver Riley Cooper prior to the public release of the video last Wednesday that shows him directing a racial slur toward a security guard at a recent Kenny Chesney concert.
The Eagles on Sunday released a statement indicating that Cooper, a fourth-year receiver from Florida, had received possibly threatening messages via Twitter before the video was released.
Although the statement is vague, it indicates that the Eagles may have been concerned that whoever had the video was trying to extort money from Cooper.
Cooper said last Wednesday evening that he didn’t know about the video until two hours earlier, but the statement indicates that Cooper told the Eagles he received messages on Twitter regarding the video well before that. But it also indicates that he may not have understood exactly what the messages were in reference to.
“Riley Cooper made us aware of the tweets when the video became public,” the Eagles said in a statement.
“He told us that he did not know about the video. He informed us he blocked the tweets because he did not know the person nor understand the context of what that person was threatening.
“We promptly alerted NFL Security. This information potentially speaks to a legal issue that is a matter between Riley and the authorities. Our focus has been on Riley’s words and actions.”
According to a story on the website Crossingbroad.com, which paid for and posted the video, it is not clear whether the tweets could have been construed as threatening or mentioned an exchange of money. The tweets have since been deleted.
Cooper was fined by the Eagles, and -– after conferring with NFL officials -- was required to undergo sensitivity training. He practiced with the Eagles on Thursday but has been on a leave of absence since.
In three NFL seasons, Cooper has 46 catches for 679 yards and five touchdowns.