Is Chip Kelly A Racist?
After being traded to the Buffalo Bills, running back LeSean McCoy was the first to insinuate Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was racist. Then, former Eagle offensive lineman Tra Thomas echoed those same sentiments. Now, former cornerback Brandon Boykin is echoing comments along the same lines stating that Kelly is essentially uncomfortable with the culture of those in the locker room. As the NFL is over 70% black and Chip Kelly is an older white male, the reading between the lines is remedial.
In Kelly’s defense, he cut Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, traded Nick Foles and cut guard Todd Herremans, all of whom are white. Certainly, Kelly is unconventional and seemingly fearless in making unorthodox personnel decisions. Of course the extension to known racist Riley Cooper is the spectre that looms over the entire personnel decision making process. It’s inconsistent to say the receiver who uses racial slurs against a people that describes 70% of his locker room would be less of a distraction than players who “want the ball”.
These accusers are starting to feel like the Cosby situation all over again leading me to believe there is some truth to the claims that race plays a part in some of Chip Kelly’s decisions. Kelly demands and exercises total control over the team and the players. Some black players may be more comfortable with that and behave in a more docile manner with Kelly. Others may be less comfortable and behave in what Kelly may believe in a manner that has historically been called an “uppity”. In essence, this is a personality conflict of Kelly’s making.
Valid or not, Chip Kelly is the leader of the team and must listen carefully to this criticism. While it may or may not be true, he has to deal with it regardless. If a coach or boss doesn’t communicate effectively, players or employees will fill in the gaps from their perspective. That filling is typically not correct; however, this is a consequence of poor communication by leadership. The solution is for leadership to take a proactive approach and remain on the level with employees, for better or worse. Afterall, we aren’t hearing any of these reports of racism from any other players leaving any other coaches. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. It’s in Chip kelly’s best interest to smother this right now.