Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver RileyCooper has been excused from all team activities in the wake of the brewingcontroversy surrounding the racially insensitive comments he made in June.
Video surfaced Wednesday of Cooper uttering a racial slur while at a concertin Philadelphia two months ago. He made a public apology on Wednesday, whenthe Eagles also levied him a heavy fine, and on Thursday the team said theFlorida product would undergo sensitivity training.
Cooper has been contrite since the video became public, but has also beentroubled by his remarks and the continuing negative backlash.
"The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me," Cooper said in astatement released by the Eagles on Friday. "My actions were inexcusable. Themore I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying tofigure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do tomake things better.
"Right now, I think it's important for me to take some time to reflect on thissituation. The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive,but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgivingme for what I've done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to stepaway for a period of time.
"During this time I'm going to be speaking with a variety of professionals tohelp me better understand how I could have done something that was sooffensive, and how I can start the healing process for everyone. As long as ittakes, and whatever I have to do, I'm going to try to make this right."
Cooper took part in practice on Thursday, but had virtually no interactionwith teammates during breaks in the session.
The Eagles said Friday they were unsure of how long Cooper would be away fromthe team.
"This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable everystep of the way," the Eagles said in Friday's statement. "He will meet withprofessionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better helphim understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates."
The Eagles have been criticized by some for not making Cooper's disciplinemore stringent.
Critics also believe Cooper's increased value to the team in the wake ofJeremy Maclin's recent season-ending injury may have played a part in thecrafting of the initial penalty.
Cooper was a reserve receiver last season and was likely going to have asimilar role this year until Maclin tore his ACL early in camp. Cooper caught23 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.