NFL player takes aim at African-American in rant.
Philadelphia Eagles receiver Riley Cooper was excused from all team activities by the NFL club as controversy grew regarding a racist slur he uttered in June.
Video of Cooper using a racial slur at a concert two months ago in Philadelphia prompted him to make a public apology this week.
The Eagles imposed a heavy fine and said that Cooper would be required to undergo sensitivity training for remarks that have sparked a backlash from fans and teammates.
“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me,” Cooper said in a statement. “My actions were inexcusable.
“The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better.
“The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me for what I’ve done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time.”
Cooper practiced Thursday but had almost no interaction with teammates during rest breaks in the workout.
The Eagles said they were uncertain how long Cooper would be away from the team, which is working out ahead of pre-season games this month and next month’s start of the 2013 NFL season.
“This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way,” the Eagles said in a statement.
Cooper became a much more important player to the Eagles than last year’s reserve role when receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a torn knee ligament in training camp, thrusting Cooper into a potential starting role.
Last year, Cooper caught 23 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns.