NFL notes: Eagles' locker room divided on Riley Cooper
Despite several team leaders speaking out in support of Riley Cooper, there are many Eagles the majority of them African American who are having a difficult time accepting the wide receiver's apology for using a racial slur, team sources told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday.
One prominent Eagle questioned the punishment Cooper was fined an undisclosed amount of money handed down by owner Jeffrey Lurie and new coach Chip Kelly.
"I'll tell you one thing, if it was Andy Reid, he would have gotten more than a fine," the player said Thursday on the condition of anonymity.
Kelly said that he didn't foresee there being any further discipline. "Right now, I don't see it going beyond" the fine, he said.
Another veteran Eagle who did not want to be identified said that he couldn't reconcile Cooper using the N-word and that he didn't think he would ever speak to the fourth-year wide receiver again.
"The coaches are saying we should think team first, but this is just crazy," the player said. "Was he thinking about the team when he said that?"
Running back LeSean McCoy was the first player to go on record and suggest that he would have a difficult time forgetting what Cooper had said last month at a Kenny Chesney concert.
Receiver Jason Avant said that if the ill will toward Cooper festered it could create a division.
"You have to let it go," he said, "because it will create an atmosphere of the whites in this corner and the blacks in this corner, and we definitely don't want that as a team."
NFL soon could see first female official
A woman who could become the NFL's first female official is training at New Orleans Saints training camp this week.
Sarah Thomas, who lives near Jackson, Miss., is a former college basketball player who started officiating high school games at age 23 and says she never dreamed then that she could become a candidate to officiate NFL games.
Now 40 years old and with three children, she has been officiating college football in Conference USA since 2007, is a member of the NFL's Officiating Development Program and a finalist to become a permanent NFL official. She arrived at Saints camp Thursday and will train there Friday and during Saturday's scrimmage.
Around the league
49ers • All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis was wearing a black cast around the base of his right hand and wrist, though coach Jim Harbaugh wouldn't confirm reports that Willis' hand was broken.
Seahawks • Coach Pete Carroll says receiver Percy Harvin faces a long rehab process after having surgery to repair his injured hip. Carroll said the surgery went "very well" but doesn't have a timetable for his recovery.
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