Wow, that escalated quickly. Yesterday, the Eagles reportedly lost Frank Gore just hours after Stephen A. Smith implied that Chip Kelly was a racist. This morning, Tra Thomas, who doesn’t miss a chance to take a swipe at Kelly, went on FOX Good Day and said a whole bunch of people in the Eagles organization have the same concerns about Chip. And then, reports that Gore didn’t want to come here because of Chip’s coaching tactics.
First up, Screamin’ A, who doubled down on the racism thing and even brought up the completely ridiculous Riley Cooper-Black History Month nonsense while saying his comments had nothing to do with race:
“I don’t know. But what I do know is it lends itself towards validating what I was trying to say yesterday. And I know that made a few folks uncomfortable. So be it. I stand by what I said yesterday. And I pointed out how DeSean Jackson is gone. LeSean McCoy is gone. Jeremy Maclin is gone. But Riley Cooper is still here. I wonder why that is. That has obviously provoked some people to sit there and say that I went on the air and called Chip Kelly racist*. That is a lie. That is false. That is inaccurate, but it’s not surprising because that’s what people want to do sometimes because they have a problem with you because I do have the ability to make people uncomfortable sometimes …”
“I worked in Philadelphia for 16 years. I’m still in Philadelphia all the time. I got a house down in South Jersey. I walk the streets of Philadelphia. I’m going to be on the Mike Missanelli show this afternoon after 4pm and his producer, Jason Myrtetus I believe it was, just texted me, talking about how Tra Thomas said that there were black players on the roster who felt as if they’re treated differently.”
“I don’t know Chip Kelly. I’ve never met him. I’ve never talked to him. I’ve never interviewed him … It would be irresponsibly for me label this man in any way. But what is responsible is for me to sit back, and I’m looking at one of the elite deep threats in the game in DeSean Jackson, one of the premiere running backs in the game in LeSean McCoy, a quality receiver in Jeremy Maclin, and all of them are gone, but Riley Cooper is staying? And then I’m looking at a Chip Kelly and I’m like, “What are you trying to say?” I don’t know the answer to that question. But I think Chip Kelly needs to provide us with one. Because even if you point to money, aren’t you trying to win?”
“Let me get this straight: Reportedly you don’t have that much confidence in Nick Foles. Don’t get me started on Mark Sanchez. You’re pursuing Marcus Mariota … last time we saw him … he was getting stomped by Ohio State. So we’re supposed to believe that you’re going to come into the NFL and wreak havok without the services of those three guys …”
“Call it whatever you want. I have a right to sit back and legitimately ask the question: What is your agena? Culturally? Personality-wise? Whatever it is … Is it gonna be the Philadelphia Ducks, or is there something else going on? I have a right to ask that question.”
“You certainly can’t sit there and point to him having a problem with black players because there’s plenty of black players on the Philadelphia Eagles, which is why it’s ignorant for people to imply that I was calling the man racist which I was not doing. But … I still must ask the question, from a cultural perspective, or from a personality perspective, what is it that you’re trying to say and what is it that you’re trying to do when you sit up there and you let let go of DeSean Jackson — and then there’s this whistling going on about his character off the field — and then this offseason you let go of LeSean McCoy and now you’re letting go of Jeremy Maclin who by the way had less guaranteed dollars committed to him than a Riley Cooper. … I don’t mean to cast dispersions on the Philadelphia Eagles … but Riley Cooper, in light of what happened, did ‘accidentally’ end up on the cover of the Eagles calendar for Black History Month. So I’m just saying that there’s people in Philadelphia who look at Chip Kelly like this: “What’s up with this dude?”
“Have y’all ever met a professional black athlete, or a black man, who is comfortable with somebody either saying or coming across as being the kind of individual that say “Well I want my kind of guy”?”
You know what we really need right now? For Marcus Hayes to weigh in.
*Called? No. Very, very strongly implied? Without a doubt.
Meanwhile, that Tra Thomas thing he mentioned? Thomas told Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley on FOX Good Day that there are black players in the Eagles locker room who believe they are held to different standards, and that besides Duce Staley, all black coaches on staff are just assistants to the assistants. Here’s video:
Here’s the transcription for the video-inclined:
“One of the things that you’re seeing right now, and these are the things that you have heard from the locker room from different players is that … they feel like there is a hint of racism. I personally … when you put that tag on someone, you gotta be careful with that, but there are some of the players that kind feel like that’s what it is. Especially when there was a report that came out last year that the Eagles were one of the whitest teams in the NFL. So you start to see the culture of the team change extremely quickly, when Coach Kelly takes over.”
But he has seven black coaches, doesn’t he?
“Yeah you have seven assistant black coaches but only one black coach is over the segment. The other guys are assistants to the assistant coaches. Duce Staley is the only guy that’s head over his segment who is gonna be in charge of his group. The other guys are just assistants to an assistant coach.”
“I don’t know. Coach Kelly bagged him and he sent him off to have some coaching on how to handle race, I don’t know. But my question with that when you look at a Riley Cooper is … if he was black and at a Trey Songz concert or something and he was talking to a white person or a homosexual like that, and he was gay bashing, would he still be on the team?”
There’s Mike Garafolo, who is reporting that Gore backed out on his deal with the Eagles because of Kelly (but not necessarily this silly race thing):
A source said Gore also indicated to a friend he was concerned with what he heard about Kelly’s overbearing approach in Philly. Kelly’s intense, no-nonsense approach — which has helped make him successful throughout his college and professional coaching career — initially rubbed McCoy the wrong way, though McCoy and Kelly were able to patch up their relationship for a good part of their two seasons together. However, receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Cary Williams were among those who didn’t mesh well with Kelly’s philosophy, and Williams indicated Kelly’s lengthy, up-tempo practices were an issue for veterans who wanted to rest their bodies during the week.
Somewhere, Cary Williams pounds his chest in affirmation.
And then there’s this guy, from Yahoo!:
I mean, that really got out of hand fast.