Giants have mixed reactions to Riley Cooper's racial slur

Antrel Rolle addresses the media after cleaning out Antrel Rolle addresses the media after cleaning out his locker at the Timex Performance Center. (Dec. 31, 2012) Photo Credit: Errol Anderson

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Giants safety Antrel Rolle had not seen the infamous video of Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper in which he uses racial slurs at a Kenny Chesney concert. So it was described to him.

"Oh, so he used the N-word?" Rolle said with a chuckle. "Oh. I don't care about that. It is what it is . . . It doesn't bother me at all."

Rolle may let those remarks slide, and many of the Eagles seem to have forgiven Cooper. But while they say that NFL stands for "Not For Long" in terms of job security, that's not the case when it comes to players holding grudges.

Cooper's teammates may accept his apology, but will there be opposing players who will be much less benevolent on the field this season and carry the memory of those remarks with them?

"I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't," Giants linebacker Spencer Paysinger said. "But for the most part, I hope a player doesn't try to go after him just because he said that."

Defensive end Adrian Tracy thinks there are players who will have Cooper's words in mind as they size up number 14 on the Eagles. "I'm sure there will be," he said.

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Will Tracy?

"I don't know," he said. "I love the nature of football because I feel like all of your aggressions, no matter what the emotions are, you can get out in a positive manner and not be arrested for it. People play with anger all the time and this is an outlet for them to do so. If people are angry and within the confines of the rules express their anger . . . It's just friendly competition."

Paysinger said he won't let Cooper's comments affect him.

"In my opinion, saying that word or words close to that, you can't give those words power," Paysinger said. "If you give those words power, that means the other side is winning. Somebody can come up to me and call me that word, but if I show him anger, then that means he got the best of me, so I think we should stop giving that word power."

Even inside the team, Cooper's apology was accepted by his teammates but the act was not necessarily forgotten.

"I forgive him. We've been friends for a long time," Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said Thursday in Philadelphia. "But in a situation like this, you really find out about someone. Just on a friendship level, I can't really respect someone like that."

The Eagles fined Cooper an undisclosed amount of money, but coach Chip Kelly said the team didn't contemplate releasing him. The Eagles also said Cooper will be enrolled in sensitivity training and that he needs to "reflect" on his comments.

Because the Eagles fined him, the NFL will not levy any additional punishment against Cooper. At least not formally. Opposing players might have their own justice system in place when the games begin in September.

"Somebody is going to be mad and perpetuate the negativity,'' Cowboys safety Will Allen said. "I don't think that's something we should do, but I am sure it will happen."

But the Giants, who face the Eagles in Weeks 5 and 8, said they will not participate in such actions. Cornerback Aaron Ross said he will treat Cooper the same as DeSean Jackson when the Giants play the Eagles. Rolle had essentially the same take.

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"You never try to go out and hurt an opponent, but I can't speak for other people," Rolle said. "When I go against and I see Riley Cooper, I'm going to treat him just like I treat any other opponent -- never let him catch the ball. That's what I aim for. Am I going to have any personal vendetta against him? No, absolutely not."

With AP

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