In April, LeSean McCoy (fresh off being traded to the Bills) said that his former coach, Chip Kelly, doesn’t respect star players. In a recent interview that will be published in ESPN The Magazine, Shady took things a step further.

Jeremy Maclin had his best season under Chip Kelly
Jeremy Maclin had his best season under Chip Kelly

Here’s a two question clip from the piece:

You told The Philadelphia Inquirer in April that Chip doesn’t “like or respect stars.” What was the problem with you and Chip, and how did that relationship end?
The relationship was never really great. I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason. … It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that. [Editor’s note: The Eagles declined to comment on McCoy’s statements.]

How many other players have shared that thought with you?
Oh, man. People have heard it. I mean … Stephen A. Smith has talked about it. Other players have talked about it. But that’s one of the things where you don’t even care no more. I’m on a new team, ready to play. So it’s nothing to do with Chip. I have no hatred toward him, nothing to say negative about him. When he got [to Philadelphia], I didn’t know what to expect. When he let DeSean go last year, I was like: “C’mon. DeSean Jackson?” So it is what it is.”

The first thing that I noticed while reading the interview was that McCoy brought this up on his own. He wasn’t asked about any racial issues in any of the previous questions, and the question he was answering was simply phrased as “stars,” regardless of race.

McCoy is now happy to be a Bill, and holds no grudges towards the Eagles
McCoy is now happy to be a Bill, and holds no grudges towards the Eagles

It’s bad to be accused of moving players to put yourself in the spotlight. It’s far worse if you’re doing it because of the race of those players.

Hopefully, for Kelly’s sake, this is a coincidence.

There are still obviously several black players on the Eagles that contribute in significant roles. Michael Vick was named the starter over Nick Foles in Kelly’s first season in Philly. Jeremy Maclin had a career-season last year under Kelly, and got paid by the Chiefs this offseason. But they also are both gone.

The only reason to believe they are out of Philly because of the color of their skin is simply perception. Kelly’s starting receivers next season project to be Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor (who was just selected with the No. 20 overall pick), who are both black. So letting Maclin go could easily just be a move to save money if the Eagles feel they can produce with cheaper, younger players. What team wouldn’t like that idea? But it also doesn’t do much for the argument that Kelly himself wants to be the “star” of the Eagles, as McCoy originally said.

Philly used its first-round pick on Nelson Agholor to replace Jeremy Maclin
Philly used its first-round pick on Nelson Agholor to replace Jeremy Maclin

The bigger problem lies in Shady’s second answer. This isn’t just something that he has brought up, people are talking about it. If Stephen A. Smith (who I despise at times, but trust as a reporter) continues to say on ESPN First Take that there’s something to this every time is comes up, then there’s probably something to it.

Smith implied on First Take on Wednesday that Philly even brought in DeMarco Murray in an attempt to try to rid themselves of the label Kelly has brought them. If true, now it becomes even more egregious. If you’re getting rid of McCoy, what’s the point in signing Murray? I feel the move is a downgrade at the running back position. Hopefully, Philly sees this as an upgrade at the position, not spending $40 million to prove a point.

Obviously, I can’t say that any of this is true or untrue because I’m on the outside. So all of this is just my take on the speculation. But from looking in on what people on the inside like Shady and Stephen A. have to say, it’s not a pretty situation.

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