As part of an offseason overhaul, the Philadelphia Eagles have elected not to re-sign several of their big free agents. Among the big departures are running back LeSean McCoy, defensive end Trent Cole, and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin — all black athletes.
That last fact has led ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to wonder whether there might be racial/cultural motives behind the Eagles’ general manager Chip Kelly‘s decision to allow those big-name black players to walk while a mediocre white player like Riley Cooper gets resigned.
During a segment of Early Take this morning, Smith connected the racism dots:
SMITH: Can I say it? It’s gonna be controversial. Chip Kelly makes decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable. We’re sitting there looking at some of the decisions Chip Kelly makes and I’m like, what is up with that? You got to be his kind of guy, you know, and I’m like, Cooper is your kind of guy?
SKIP BAYLESS: He’s creating a system of culture that he wants it to be on his terms.
SMITH: Let’s get beyond the system. The operative word is “culture.” The culture is what resonates with me more profoundly because I’m loking at Chip Kelly and, I’m like, really? You got to remember, Skip, where did I work for 16 years? This is Philadelphia. You know what I’m saying? I’m always in Philly. I’m telling you right now, you got people walking the streets — hell with it — you got brothers walking the streets going like this: “What’s up with Chip?” I don’t understand it. I really don’t understand. I’m not saying I know but I’m just going to say it does strike me as a tad bit odd. I’m going to repeat this. Gone: Lesean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, you know, DeSean Jackson. Staying: Cooper. Really? Really?
Watch the video below, via ESPN2:
[Editor’s note: This post incorrectly identified Kelly as the “owner” of the Eagles when he is, in fact, the general manager. We apologize for this grave error and will never, ever do it again.]
[Image via ESPN2/screengrab]
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