Michael Vick, the most vocal (notably black) Eagle who came out in support of Riley Cooper last summer, is upset at Cooper because he didn’t return Vick’s text last winter. From an ESPN story painting Vick as some sort of hero for defending Cooper:
“I just felt like I was the most capable guy on that team of taking a stand for Riley, and being a voice for him at that time,” Vick said. Without taking that stand and being that voice, Vick maintained, the video of Cooper’s racial slur “was going to derail our team. Unfortunately, it was going to derail Riley’s career. It would have ended his career.”
Cooper did immediately text Vick a message of thanks for his support in the meeting room and in the news media. But after he told reporters “it was easy to forgive” Cooper, Vick wondered if something changed.
The receiver ended up having a breakthrough season, finishing with 47 receptions for 835 yards and 8 touchdowns and landing a five-year, $25 million deal. In fact, Cooper actually outperformed Vick, who lost his starting job to injury and then watched Nick Foles go on a tear and lead Philadelphia to the playoffs.
“A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I’ll be honest with you,” Vick said. “After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way. But I’m not the type of guy who holds grudges.”
Vick said he told his former teammate he was proud of him in the text that wasn’t returned. When it was suggested to him that any white player in Cooper’s shoes should owe the quarterback an eternal debt of gratitude, Vick said, “I’d have you on speed dial. That’s the only reason I say I hope Riley appreciates that. His life is his life and he played good football last year, and he was always like a little brother to me. But money should never change an individual, and I’m not saying it did that to Riley.”
Actually, that sounds exactly like the type of thing a guy who holds grudges would say. And over an unreturned text message? There are 13-year-old girls who are less passive aggressive about such a thing. If people got mad at me over unreturned texts, I wouldn’t have any human friends or family:
I’m not popular, just lazy.* I’d assume that an NFL wide receiver, when he signs a $25 million contract after nearly being ostracized from the sport, has an unmanageable number of texts that can only be fixed with a mark all as read maneuver. That said, you’d think that if you’re Cooper you would be keenly aware of text messages from anyone who was even one-eighth black and respond swiftly. Oh hey man it’s great to hear from you! How’s everything? You’re a great person. Let’s do coffee. Xoxo.
Anyway, Vick is proud that he saved the Eagles’ season, Chip Kelly’s tenure, and Riley Cooper’s career. He saved the world that day, obviously, and we should all worship at the
alter altar of Vick.
He and Cooper spoke after these quotes came out, and the original story now reflects that:
Vick said he was planning on greeting Cooper warmly Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field, and as it turned out, according to the quarterback’s spokesperson, they ended up talking by phone Wednesday. Chris Shigas said he didn’t know which party placed the call, or what prompted it, or whether Cooper offered an explanation about the unreturned text, or whether the receiver reminded Vick that he did send a congratulatory text after he signed with the Jets.
But the spokesperson said Vick informed him that the call was productive. “They’re all good,” Shigas said.
*I’m too lazy to save contacts. Many of the unread messages are just a series of seemingly random numbers and I play this game where I have to dig through the texts and read previous conversations to figure out who it is. If I met you in, I’m guessing, the last two years, I don’t have your contact saved. It’s like a mystery box every time you text me. Is it that deep throat source who hasn’t given me their name? Is it grand mom? ARE THEY THE SAME PERSON?! Who knows! That’s the fun part.