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LeSean McCoy openly questioned on Thursday if the video of Riley Cooper's racist remark showed how Cooper really thinks. (USA Today Images)
LeSean McCoy said he forgave Riley Cooper, but the Pro Bowl running back isn’t yet ready to forget.
McCoy on Thursday wondered whether the racial slur screamed by Cooper in a video that went viral Wednesday reflected the true feelings inside of a teammate who he thought was a close friend, and he questioned whether the friendship could be preserved.
“I definitely think it will be different,” McCoy said after Thursday’s practice indoors. “That’s somebody that I’ve known for a couple of years. So it’s like, once somebody shows you who they really are, leave it.
“I’m thinking like, I think I know him very well and then you do something like that, when you don’t think no cameras are around, you don’t think nobody’s around, everything is in closed doors, you show who you really are. I just think I know him a little better than I thought I did.”
Cooper apologized to the team Wednesday night in a meeting and several players, including Michael Vick and Jason Avant, afterward echoed a sentiment of forgiveness.
McCoy, who saw the video, said it was “terrible” and seemed to be conflicted with his emotions toward the fourth-year wideout.
“Ain’t nothing to prove. He said how he felt,” McCoy said. “He’s still a teammate. I’m still going to block for him. I’m still gonna show great effort. Just on a friendship level, and as a person, I can’t really respect somebody like that. I think as a team, we need to move past it. There are some things that are going to be hard to work with, to be honest.”
McCoy said he’s not the only teammate appalled by Cooper’s epithet. Other teammates had conflicting emotions about Cooper.
“I just take the attitude of a lot of players on the team,” McCoy added. “The last couple of days has been tough for everybody. You don’t just say something like that and then it’s just normal. It’s hard for a lot of players like myself, because I’m good friends with him.
“And then we’ve been playing for three years, and something like this comes out, I think where a person thinks that the cameras are off and nobody is really watching, you let your true side come out, and I think that’s what happened. I think it’s a matter of him actually getting caught.
“I forgive him because he’s a teammate, but some things [don’t] fit well with myself and other teammates at all.”
Cooper practiced with the team Thursday and spoke to reporters after. He insinuated that none of his teammates had shown him the cold shoulder or reacted negatively toward him.
McCoy said he hadn’t spoken personally to Cooper and didn’t see many teammates interacting with Cooper during practice.
“That’s what’s expected,” he said. “I don’t think he’ll get the same treatment and people talking to him as he did before the incident happened. Which is expected, though. I don’t think you say things like that and think that everything will be the same. He’s looked at differently.
“Not only just him, but anybody. It’s like, ‘Are you the same person?’ [There isn’t] a point where I’m pissed off at a person where I’ll just say something racial. It’s more anger at the person.
“It is what it is. We’re here to play football as a team. We’re definitely trying to move past it, but reality is reality.”