Prior to their NFL days, New York Giants wide receiver Louis Murphy and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper played ball together for three years at the University of Florida. And in a recent interview with Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Murphy expressed his confusion after hearing of Cooper's racist remarks at a Kenny Chesney concert in June.
"That's not the guy I know," Murphy said.
Many players have similar feelings to Murphy, though there are also players that want no part of speaking to Cooper ever again. A few of them said they will never forgive him. Murphy, however, feels as if his friend and teammate deserves a second chance.
"He's a good guy, a good teammate. I know him personally, as a friend. We were teammates for three years. Everybody makes some mistakes and I believe everybody is entitled to a second chance," he said.
Murphy has forgiven his friend, though it's unclear as to how he will be received by opposing teams when the regular season gets underway. A few of the league's players have spoken out on the issue, while others have remained quiet. It may end up being their on-field actions that do most of the talking when all is said and done.
After being signed during the offseason, Murphy figures to be the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver this season. He has plenty of speed to burn, so it could be conceivable for the Giants to use him in mostly deep ball situations. Eli Manning, who loves to throw the ball over the top of defenses, will definitely utilize Murphy if they can establish a rapport early on in training camp.
The 26-year-old spent three years with the Oakland Raiders before playing with the Carolina Panthers last season. He has a career yards per reception of 14.8, which means that he'll be a prime target in the passing game in "down and long" situations.
It will be interesting to see if other NFL players adopt the same motto of forgiveness as Murphy. The young wide receiver has proven his maturity in his reaction to the situation regarding his friend, and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin will certainly respect that.
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