Anonymous Eagles players: Chip Kelly isn’t a racist, just dictatorial
Chip Kelly has been at the center of a swirling controversy regarding his purported racist tendencies even since LeSean McCoy, shortly after signing with the Buffalo Bills, accused the Philadelphia Eagles head coach of having a habit of “getting rid of all the good black players” on the team.
To hear from current members of the team, it’s not so much that Kelly’s so-called issues with certain players are racial in nature. Instead, it’s suggested that the head coach’s dictatorial style can be off-putting to some of them and his actions are misinterpreted.
Two players currently on the Eagles roster have come forward to speak on the issue, telling Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman that Kelly doesn’t have issues with race, although both refused to be identified over fear of reprisal from the coach.
“Chip is not a racist. The notion he is isn’t fair,” one anonymous Eagles player told Freeman. “The thing with Chip is he just doesn’t see you as a person. He sees you as a commodity. The more players get that, the better off they’ll be.”
The player also said he personally has no issue with Kelly’s methods.
“Chip’s attitude towards players doesn’t bother me,” he added. “I actually like it. I know where I stand with him. You understand that he doesn’t want to be challenged so don’t f–king challenge him. It’s pretty simple. I get it. Some guys don’t.”
Another unidentified player echoed his teammate’s sentiments.
“He sets the agenda. You don’t follow it, you’re dead to him,” said the player, who Freeman notes is African-American. “That’s not racial. Some guys handle it well, some guys don’t.”
Accusations similar in tone to McCoy’s have been made about Kelly as well. Former assistant coach Tra Thomas argued that some of Kelly’s moves have “a hint of racism.”
Brandon Boykin also made comments about Kelly after he was traded, saying the coach “can’t relate and that makes him uncomfortable,” although he later backtracked on his remarks.
Kelly did acknowledge recently that it’s possible his decision to keep Riley Cooper on the team after the wide receiver was caught on video in 2013 using a racial slur may have spawned the belief he has issues with race. But he steadfastly denied he had any regrets over the decision.