PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In an interview with ESPN, Michael Vick expressed a sense of confusion and disappointment with the way a relationship with a former Eagles teammate appears to be deteriorating. Vick feels as though he played a crucial role in saving the career of Riley Cooper and he feels like the receiver may not appreciate what Vick did for him.
Following the break out season that Cooper had last year, it is easy to forget about the controversy that surrounded last year during training camp. A video went viral last summer that showed Cooper at a concert threatening an African American security guard and using the N-word to refer to the guard and other African Americans at the show.
The incident was the first for Chip Kelly who was trying to establish his authority in a locker room that had the majority of its players angry at one player in particular.
Vick took to the media and defended Cooper last season, and he told ESPN that he echoed that sentiment in the locker room.
“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 in the interview. Vick also added that the video had the potential to derail the Eagles and much more. “Unfortunately, it was going to derail Riley’s career. It would have ended his career.”
Vick added that he himself received backlash from his teammates for defending Cooper despite what he had said. Vick characterized the mood in the locker room as contentious when it came to Cooper.
“We had guys talking about knocking him out, taking his head off, doing X, Y and Z to him on the field, and none of that happened, out of respect for myself, I think.”
Cooper made it through the ordeal and earned a new five year, $25 million deal. Vick said that he sent Cooper a congratulatory text message and expressed that he was proud of him for what he accomplished. That text message has still not been returned.
“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 called his standing up for Cooper “the best thing,” he’s ever done as a professional athlete. “I handled it so my team could move forward, and I handled it so people could forget about it and not look at Riley a certain kind of way. I changed the whole dynamic of that situation, and that was a proud moment for me. I was able to save a young man’s career, and that young man went on to have the greatest year of his career and get a contract that he probably never imagined he would get.”
On Thursday night, Vick returns to Philadelphia as a member of the New York Jets. According to the report, he plans to greet Cooper prior to the game.
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