In a recent article, several former Philadelphia Eagles players alleged that coach Chip Kelly is a racist which will impact his chances on winning Super Bowl 50. Winning a Super Bowl is the highlight for any NFL player, coach, or support staff. Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly will not enhance his chances of winning Super Bowl 50 without promoting positive racial relationships.

According to the article, Chip Kelly, Racism and the Culture of the NFL, several former Philadelphia Eagle players and former staff believe that the past player trades are an indication of racism. Former Philadelphia cornerback Brandon Boykin has suggested that Kelly might not have the sensitivity to form positive relationships with Black players. Boykin made the evaluation after the Philadelphia Eagles traded him to the Pittsburg Steelers. He specifically told Comcast SportsNet’s Derrick Gunn in a text message that Kelly is “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.”

Lesean McCoy, another former Philadelphia Eagle Black running back who was traded to the Buffalo Bills, has alleged that Kelly has tendencies that appear to be racist. McCoy told ESPN that Kelly “got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players.”

DeSean Jackson appears to have been victimized by Kelly’s alleged racism. The Eagles publicly expressed problems with Jackson’s alleged gang affiliations. Even though Jackson stated he’s never been in a gang, he was traded to the Washington Redskins.

Tra Thomas, a former offensive lineman, who was employed as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles until his position was eliminated went on to say that the players “feel like there is a hint of racism” in Kelly’s personnel moves. Thomas also noted that only one of seven assistant coaches have legitimized power in the decision making process. “The other guys are assistants to the assistant coaches”.

In a turn of events, Kelly enabled a White football player to remain on the team after making racial remarks. Eagle wide receiver Riley Cooper, who is White, was video taped stating “I will jump that fence and fight every n****r in here. He made this statement while attending a Kenny Chesney concert at the Lincoln Financial Field. He was fined an undisclosed amount of money by the Eagles for the incident. In 2014, Cooper signed a 5 year 25 million deal with the Eagles.

What alleged NFL racial incidents have resulted in teams falling short of winning the Super Bowl?

Several 2014 incidents that impacted several NFL football teams could have been racially motivated. Black NFL football player Ray Rice was arrested for third-degree aggravated assault on March 27, 2014. The incident was an act of domestic violence involving his former girlfriend who is now his wife. The Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice on September 8, 2014. Even though he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, he later appealed in federal court, and won.

In January 2015 the Baltimore Ravens settled a formal grievance against the NFL for wrongful termination. Rice demanded $3.5 million after claiming that the Ravens imposed a second punishment upon him by terminating his contract after the NFL levied a two-game suspension. The incident of racism impacted the 2014 Baltimore Ravens season.

In 2014, he Ravens clinched the sixth seed in the AFC. They won the AFC wildcard game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens were eventually defeated in the AFC divisional round by the eventual Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The Baltimore ravens can enhance their chances of winning Super Bowl 50 by overcoming the racial stigma that plagued their team in 2014.

The Minnesota Vikings have also fell victim to racial incidents. In 2014, Adrian Peterson was suspended for recklessly assaulting his four-year-old son. In February 2015, United States District Judge David Doty ruled in favor of Adrian Peterson, therefore overturning the Vikings running back’s indefinite suspension from the NFL. The Vikings were eliminated from postseason contention after a loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 15. Their final record was 5–10–1 record. No NFL team can win Super Bowl 50 when there is a need to improve racial relationships amongst players, coaches, owners, and staff members.

How can racial incidents impact NFL team’s efforts to win Super Bowl 50?

The NFL comprises of mostly Black players. Racial incidents remind Black players of racism that continues to undermine their efforts to attain a higher quality of life and win a Super Bowl.

Blacks have learned since slavery that the way to get ahead is not through merit and talent but through white patronage. Americans of color adapt to a society that does not value their ethnicity, history, heritage, or language by establishing societal survival strategies.

Some minorities believe they cannot trust White institutions and therefore Black parents prepare their children to live in a dual cultural world that involves helping them to develop skills for adult roles such as wage earners and parenthood in addition to negotiating a dominant society that has different cultural values and judge’s people by their skin color or ethnic background. Blacks who live in an urban society and a society that dislikes them for the color of their skin ensure they do not become victims by approaching people with caution, wariness, and a sense of distrust. The sense of distrust will continue in the NFL and have an impact on victimized teams winning Super Bowl 50.

The Philadelphia Eagles and other NFL teams that fall victim to racial allegations will only have a chance at winning Super Bowl 50 by promoting positive racial relationships.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012


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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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