The Philadelphia Eagles winless start in the 2015 season could be a direct result of Chip Kelly racism. According to Alveda King, “racism oppresses its victims, but also binds the oppressors, who sear their consciences with more and more lies until they become prisoners of those lies. They cannot face the truth of human equality because it reveals the horror of the injustices they commit.” Philadelphia Eagles will have to transform the perception of racism amongst its players to avoid any future adverse effects associated with Chip Kelly racism.
The Philadelphia Eagles have started the 2015 football season win no wins in its first two games. The organization is now looking for answers to enhance their overall performance. They need only to look at how Chip Kelly racism has divided their culture.
How has Chip Kelly racism created a divided culture amongst its players?
Chip Kelly racism has created the perception of a culture of White privilege. White privilege is a term that indicates that White people in Western countries benefit beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people such as Blacks.
At least one Philadelphia Eagle appears to have benefited from White privilege associated with Chip Kelly racism. In July, 2013, at a Kenny Chesney concert, Philadelphia Eagle wing right Riley Cooper was caught on camera vowing to “fight every [n-word]” at the conference. The Eagles subsequently fined Cooper and excused him from all team activities for a short period of time.
Then the Eagles responded to Cooper by extending his contract. The Eagles provided the player with a $25 million contract over five years. His contract is guaranteed for at least $8 million.
A former Black Philadelphia Eagle player and coach elaborated on the Chip Kelly racism culture. Tra Thomas stated, “One of the things that you’re seeing right now, and these are the things that you have heard from the locker room from different players is that … they feel like there is a hint of racism. I personally … when you put that tag on someone, you gotta be careful with that, but there are some of the players that kind feel like that’s what it is. Especially when there was a report that came out last year that the Eagles were one of the whitest teams in the NFL. So you start to see the culture of the team change extremely quickly, when Coach Kelly takes over.” Thomas went on to say, “Yeah you have seven assistant black coaches but only one black coach is over the segment. The other guys are assistants to the assistant coaches. Duce Staley is the only guy that’s head over his segment who is gonna be in charge of his group. The other guys are just assistants to an assistant coach.”
Furthermore, The Unofficial 2014 NFL Player Census revealed that no other team in the NFL has more white players and less Black players than the Philadelphia Eagles do. The Eagles had 25 players identified as White, 27 as Black, and 1 as Hispanic. The team with the second most White players and second least Black players was the Houston Texans with 20 White Players and 30 Black players. It appears that Chip Kelly racism has been a dominate theme of the Philadelphia Eagles culture since 2013.
How can Chip Kelly remove that perception of racism that now looms over the Philadelphia Eagles?
Chip Kelly must begin by apologizing for a leadership style that is contradictory to the team concept that dominates football today. He must apologize to all of his present and former players for putting racism before the team. Even though Chip Kelly will more than likely blame the players instead of the Chip Kelly racism culture that he has manufactured, without establishing a paradigm shift the 2015 Philadelphia season could be doomed.
Chip Kelly must also show that his actions will speak louder that his words. He can begin this process by promoting positive racial relationships amongst himself, his staff, and the players. Kelly must also become more astute and acceptable of the behavioral differences of Blacks and Whites to eliminate the adverse effects associated with Chip Kelly racism.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
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