Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mystery surrounds Riley Cooper's 'teachable moment'

Not this season.

Mystery surrounds Riley Cooper's 'teachable moment'

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If the attention of Eagles fans is now on next Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East title, a few readers have asked, “Whatever happened to the teachable moment?”

That was a long time ago – August – after a video was released showing Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, intoxicated and angry, using a racial epithet at a black security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert at Lincoln Financial Field in June.

In the midst of the media storm, Eagles management called up one of the team’s biggest fans, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and asked him for a list of charities and community service programs that might benefit from Cooper’s team fine or his participation.

Although Williams, who is African American, said he did not know how much Cooper was being fined by the team, he promised to work with the Eagles to do “what they can do to help him and to use this as a teachable moment not only for him but maybe for the city as a whole to deal with racism and insensitive language.”

That moment has not yet occurred.

Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko said team policy is to decide how to use team fines against players after the season is over. And then, the team’s decision will not be made public.

Can a moment be teachable if no one knows about it?

“That’s always been our policy, to not disclose the recipient,” Boyko said.

As for the DA, spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson said Williams provided a list of programs to Eagles management and left the decision to them.

Jamerson said Williams had no additional comment except, “At the time of a difficult situation, the Eagles did the right thing by reaching out to community leaders and members and asking for their input.”

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About this blog
Inquirer reporter Joe Slobodzian covers the courts and writes about the people who find themselves there and what they face.

You can reach Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or jslobodzian@phillynews.com. Reach Joseph A. at jslobodzian@phillynews.com.

Joseph A. Slobodzian
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