It was Michael Vick who publicly jumped to Riley Cooper's defense after the Eagles receiver was caught on camera using racial slurs. The QB spoke out in favor of forgiving Cooper at a time other players were saying they had lost all respect. "We had guys talking about knocking him out, taking his head off," Vick tells ESPN, "and none of that happened, out of respect for myself, I think."
Things are different now. Vick lost his starting job and signed on to be a backup with the Jets. Cooper had an excellent season, established himself as a No. 2 receiver, and signed a five-year deal with Philadelphia that gives him $8 million in guaranteed money. And Vick is sort of wondering, in the politest way possible, when Cooper's going to, you know, say thanks.
Some quotes from today's ESPN story:
"I took that stand for him, man, and I just hope at the end of the day that he appreciates that. I just hope he's [appreciative] of my boldness to step out in front of the world and say what I said, and he appreciates what I did and understands the magnitude of it, because nobody else was going to step up and say anything."
"A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I'll be honest with you. After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way."
"I'm not the type of guy who holds grudges," adds Vick, who very clearly holds a grudge.
Vick's not necessarily wrong to feel this way, but he is distinctly and cartoonishly terrified of saying what he wants to say throughout this interview.
Vick said he told his former teammate he was proud of him in the text that wasn't returned. When it was suggested to him that any white player in Cooper's shoes should owe the quarterback an eternal debt of gratitude, Vick said, "I'd have you on speed dial. That's the only reason I say I hope Riley appreciates that. His life is his life and he played good football last year, and he was always like a little brother to me. But money should never change an individual, and I'm not saying it did that to Riley."
"I'm not saying that thing I said happens is what happened to Riley."
Riley, just text Mike. It would really mean a lot to him.