Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard said that what Philadelphia Eagles receiver Riley Cooper said was reprehensible, he still would give him another chance if Cooper was his teammate.
Cooper is on leave from the Eagles after a video of him using a racial slur against blacks surfaced on the Internet, creating a firestorm that wound up with receiver fined and ordered to sensitivity training after the apologized for he incident.
“I can get past it because everybody deserves a second chance. Also, I think for the most part, it comes down to do they really know that guy,” Pollard said. “As far as with tempers flaring, that's what happened. He got hot, he said what he said. That said, I'm not his teammate. I don't know the guy. I've never talked to him, but if he was my teammate, who am I to throw the first stone. I've said things and done things that haven't been right and people have forgiven me. But I would just hate to be in that situation.”
Pollard admits the matter is a sticky subject and said such language should be avoided by all – even in rap songs where it has become prevalent.
“It's a touchy word. I know a lot of black people say it because they feel like they're entitled because we're black, but no,” he said. “I think if you say it and you put it in these rap songs and rappers are expecting all kinds of sales with their albums and everything else, you're expecting sales from white, black, Chinese, everybody is buying it. I think we need to watch what we say, because as a society we don't want our kids growing up and saying it. I know a lot of people who have said it, because it's in every rap song.”
Pollard said he understands that Cooper was angry when the word came out, but
that it has to be eliminated from everyone's vocabulary.
“That' s a touchy subject for all of us, black, white, yellow, blue, purple, green. That word shouldn't be in anybody's mouth, whether you're putting the “g-a” or the “e-r” (on the end). Having said that, it's a little touchy with everything that's been going on and it's hard, man,” Pollard said. “We understand that tempers flare and people get pissed off, but you've got to watch what you're saying. People I know, they don't take that thing likely.
“But for us as a society, with the rapping and all this other stuff, the words that are being said and they way we are treating people, the things that they are talking about, we need to correct that. It starts with us. It starts with all of us. I think it's a touchy subject. As far as with Cooper, man, the dude was pissed off. We all understand he was pissed off, but at the same time that word can' fly out of your mouth. Being Caucasian, for us as far as black guys or whatever, it's touchy, and I would hate to be in that situation.”