Over the past few days, many people – from those on Twitter to Eagles beat writers to TV anchors – have suggested that the video of Riley Cooper using the N-word at the Kenny Chesney concert could (or should) have been turned over to Cooper or the Eagles rather than shopped to media outlets or posted on this site. The implication was that it would have earned the person who sold us the video more money than he eventually received, or that we could have agreed not to post the video in exchange for money. We, however, believe that suggestion to be extortion, and the idea was never even considered. As for the person who sent us the video, though? Well, he, along with several of his friends, did contact Cooper about the video’s existence before reaching out to multiple local and national outlets, including Deadspin, Barstool, TMZ and others.
The video had been circulated amongst a small group of friends, several of whom contacted Cooper via Twitter over the past month and a half. Two of the people who contacted Cooper, one of whom eventually provided us with the video, confirmed that Cooper blocked them on Twitter, perhaps as recently as Sunday night.
Before releasing the video, we knew that Cooper had been contacted about its existence, but were unaware of the extent to which attempts to reach him occurred. Our source estimates that, since mid-June, Cooper was “tweeted at” 10-15 times by at least three separate accounts about the video in which he threatened to “jump the fence and fight every nigger” at the Chesney concert. All of those Tweets have since been deleted, but we’ve seen several of them and can confirm their existence.
One of Cooper’s friends was also contacted about the video, in a more direct manner. There was no response.
In one Tweet to Cooper, he was asked why he wasn’t taking the claims seriously. In another, he was asked to follow and message our source about the video.
One person even joked to Cooper, asking him who?! it was he planned to fight when he jumped the fence.
Marcus Vick’s vicious Tweet about Paula Deen, following her public humiliation for admitting to having used the N-word, was even mentioned to Cooper as a way to get his attention. You don’t want Marcus to find out about this was the tongue-in-cheek inference (and it was a good one, too– Marcus put a bounty on Cooper’s head when he saw the video).
Cooper never responded to any of the Tweets.
At some point last weekend, our source estimates, Cooper blocked two of the accounts that had been tweeting at him about the video.
The friends claim that they weren’t trying to “blackmail” Cooper, though we’ll likely never know that for sure. But even if Cooper had responded and halted the video’s release on Wednesday, it may not have mattered. Our source says that the video had been shared with perhaps over a dozen people and would have likely found its way to the media or YouTube eventually.
It’s worth noting that Cooper had roughly 56k followers before the video’s release on Wednesday, and he undoubtedly received many Tweets from fans and others. In theory, it’s entirely possible that he didn’t see the Tweets about the video. But the fact that he blocked at least two of the people who had been tweeting him about its existence makes that scenario highly unlikely. Cooper saw the Tweets. Whether he remembered the incident at the concert or believed the claims about the video… well, that’s another matter.
On Wednesday, Cooper told reporters that he had been alone at the concert. That was untrue. He also told reporters that the video had been brought to his attention “a couple hours ago.” We believe that claim was also untrue.