Riley Cooper returned to practice Tuesday with the Philadelphia Eagles, taking the first tentative step on a road to reconciliation.
Cooper left the team for four days after a video surfaced of him making an alcohol-fuelled, racially insensitive remark at a Kenny Chesney concert.
It left many team-mates feeling betrayed, hurt and angry.
Cooper himself said he was disgusted and disappointed in himself. It is also reported that he has told friends he was so drunk that he doesn’t even recall the incident. That does not excuse the behaviour. It merely exacerbates the situation, and puts a spotlight on the excessive boozing that gets far too many pro athletes into trouble.
Cooper’s return was far quicker than expected and head coach Chip Kelly told reporters he would play in the preseason opener Friday.