The summer of Is Chip Kelly Racist, Or What? is nearing its end, but we’re taking one more turn before the start of the season.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman got a few black Eagles players to speak to him about Kelly anonymously, and they claim that Kelly is not racist, but an asshole:
“Chip is not a racist. The notion he is isn’t fair. 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 added: “Chip’s attitude towards players doesn’t bother me. 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.”
A second African-American Eagles player said: “He sets the agenda. You don’t follow it, you’re dead to him. That’s not racial. Some guys handle it well, some guys don’t.”
This feels like a good read on the situation, given the fact that Kelly comes from a college coaching background. College coaches can get away with a lot more when it comes to treating players like shit, because college players aren’t really in a position to do anything about it. The power dynamic is a little different in the pros, though, and a coach who sees his players as totally replaceable while making no effort to relate to them is sure to rub some guys the wrong way.
If that’s how Kelly’s been operating in Philadelphia, then it’s not really surprising for guys like LeSean McCoy and Brandon Boykin to motion towards racism. Kelly may be not be a racist at all, but treating players like commodities is a good way to come off like one.