The Sports Bad Behavior Double Standard which gives good players a second chance and makes an example out of scrubs has its limits. We saw it in June with Aaron Hernandez. And we’re seeing it in August potentially with Hernandez’s college teammate Riley Cooper. The disconnect regarding Cooper was obvious from the outset of the controversy. Owner Jeffrey Lurie said the Eagles were “shocked and appalled” by Cooper’s use of the worst possible racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert — so shocked and appalled that the Eagles imposed an undisclosed fine on Cooper. That’s not how it works in non-sports industries. In Cooper’s case it may not be the last move the team makes. The buzzword of the 2013 offseason became “distraction.” Gay NFL players stay closeted in part because they don’t want to create a distraction for the team. And no team was interested in trading with the Jets for Tim Tebow and only one wanted to sign him because thanks to a legion of fans who demand to see him play Tebow is a distraction. Riley Cooper in less than 48 hours has become a major distraction for the Eagles. The distraction doesn’t simply come from the outside with reporters asking everyone in the locker room for their opinion about Cooper — just as reporters will ask everyone in the locker room for their opinion the first NFL player who declares himself to be openly gay. The distraction as to Cooper also comes from within and it seems to be getting worse not better.
Riley Cooper’s NFL career may not last much longer
Pro Football Talk | Aug 2