Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper and cornerback Cary Williams got into a scuffle and had to be separated during practice on Thursday, causing a stir with the Eagles' season set to start on Monday at Washington.
During one-on-one drills, Williams threw Cooper to the ground, and the two immediately began to take shots, with the defensive back throwing a pair of punches with their helmets on. Eventually, Cooper put his hands down and walked away, and quarterback Michael Vick and several other players came over to break it up, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Williams would later take his helmet off and began shouting at Cooper, who had walked away.
The reason for the disturbance is unclear, but many are pointing to Cooper’s use of a racial slur at a concert back in June, which was broadcast to the world in a viral video. The former Florida standout apologized publicly and to his teammates, and left the team for counseling during training camp.
At times known for being volatile on the field, Williams was one of the several players in the Eagle locker room to say publically that he took issue with Cooper’s actions and words. Vick has openly stated that he has forgiven Cooper.
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Many speculated Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie and new head coach Chip Kelly would have cut Cooper for the incident if it weren’t for the torn ACL of receiver Jeremy Maclin.
Earlier this summer, a cell-phone video of Cooper showed him shouting at a Kenny Chesney concert in June: “I will jump that fence and fight every n***** here bro!”
The 28-year-old Williams, who won a Super Bowl with Baltimore last season, signed a three-year $17 million with Philadelphia this summer.