LeSean McCoy: The Back Who Cried Racism


Oh, LeSean. You spent your Philadelphia Eagles’ career ducking and dodging and juking and evading head-on collisions only to come out clean on the other side.

Your post-Eagles’ career? A massive wreck from which no one can look away.

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You were traded for obvious reasons.

It made sense to us when it happened. Heck, we even talked about how it might happen before it did…

“Would Chip really part ways with LeSean McCoy? Yes. I do not mean to compare LeSean McCoy to DeSean Jackson (they are remarkably different men) but Kelly has already shown willingness to say goodbye to a supreme talent if he believes it will help the team long-term. And with McCoy’s $11.95M 2015 salary cap number it’s easy to see how his departure could help the team in other areas.” – Me. From before you were dealt. 

And, since? Well… since: You’ve just made it clearer and clearer that it not only made sense to let you go; It was the only possible outcome.

It all made so much sense to us. You were too expensive. Your 2014, frankly, wasn’t very good. You’re a loose cannon playing for a coach that likes his cannons… decommissioned.

But that eluded you.

You couldn’t imagine how anyone could want to take the field without Shady McCoy on their side. It was beyond your grasp that any coach could prefer to field an offense without you. It boggled your mind that a team might want a young player and about $11 million in their pockets more than they wanted you… a superstar. 

Unable to see the rationale behind the Eagles’ move, what did you do?

You grasped at straws.

Chip doesn’t like stars. That’s what you told The Inquirer.

But no one really seemed to buy it.

That story faded and you found yourself still a Buffalo Bill: A big name in a tiny market destined to play out your serviceable years on an offense that isn’t likely to move quite like the one you got kicked off of in Philly.

And you were angry. So you lashed out again.

And this time it wasn’t just stars Chip didn’t like. It was the black ones.

Let’s evaluate that claim together, LeSean, shall we?

Chip cut DeSean Jackson last year, yes. Jackson was an even poorer fit than you were.

And he traded you away. We’ve covered that.

But what else?

Jeremy Maclin? You mean the receiver that Chip Kelly tried to sign to a long term deal in 2013. Or the one that Kelly made the focal point of his passing game in 2014? Or the one that Kelly and the Eagles tried to lock-up, again, after the 2014 season going as far as offering him a reported $9 million a season to stay with the team?

The Chiefs offered Maclin $11 million a year. That might make Andy Reid a little irresponsible. But it certainly doesn’t make Chip Kelly racist.

How about the fact that the Eagles cut ties with Todd Herremans? An Eagle long before you arrived. You’re aware, I’m sure, that Herremans is white. The Eagles showed him the door.

Sep 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly on the sideline against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi

They brought in Brad Jones to kick off free agency. They tendered Cedric Thornton to make sure he’d stay. They signed Brandon Graham long-term to start at outside linebacker. They brought in Byron Maxwell. Walter Thurmond. Your replacement, DeMarco Murray. All black.

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They traded away a cheap, young starting quarterback in Nick Foles (white:) Something much harder to explain than trading away an expensive running back who’s nearing 27.

Kelly led the draft this year. Five black players out of six choices.

Are you prepared, Shady, to defend yourself? Because the evidence seems damning to your claim. As does the fact that you told the world that you thought you’d be back in Philly. After being traded and seeming upset at the idea of no longer being an Eagle, you told us that you thought you’d restructure your deal and stay with the Eagles. Why would you ever have considered that, Shady? If, as you say, Chip Kelly is a racist?

Is he?

Herremans doesn’t think so.

Neither does leader-of-the-defense, Malcolm Jenkins. Who happens to be black. And also happened to be Chip Kelly’s primary target in free agency last year.

Jenkins told NJ Advance Media that he didn’t find Chip Kelly to be racist at all. He even called you crazy.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to disagree with that assessment the more you open your mouth.

But, in this case, LeSean, it isn’t simply that you’re wrong (You are and that mustn’t be forgotten.) The issue here is that what you’ve done is dangerous. 

Racism exists. It’s alive and well in America today.

Open up a newspaper. Turn on a television. Racism in politics. In big business. In how we police our streets and how we discuss all of these things in our media.

Racism is even a thing in football. When it comes to hiring practices and the perception of minority players and coaches.

The biggest problem might be that racism is so ingrained in us as a people that we often let it go without even noticing that it’s there. Many of us are even complicit in it while never having any idea that we’re perpetuating fundamental inequality among races simply by thinking the thoughts we’ve always thunk and doing the things we’ve always done.

It’s called institutionalized racism. And it’s one of society’s greatest ills.

There are moments when racism is called to our attention as a people. When we’re forced to look up from our routines and actually notice the inequality around us.

See: Trayvon Martin

See: Baltimore.

And then you come along.

And you claim racism where there is none. You call a man a racist when the world can plainly see he’s not. You use your platform as a superstar to lie.

And, in doing so, you weaken the argument for the next person who falls victim to real discrimination.

“You sound just like Shady McCoy…” someone might say, “…the back who cried racism.”

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