LeSean McCoy on his Kelly claims: 'I don't have to explain myself'

ByMike Rodak ESPN logo
Thursday, June 4, 2015

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Speaking publicly Wednesday for the first time since accusing Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly of considering players' race in roster decisions, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy defended his comments and confronted reporters who pressed him on the subject.

"I don't have to explain myself to nobody," McCoy said when asked to elaborate on his assertions. "Nobody. I don't. I said what I said, said what I felt at the time and I'm done with that."

McCoy challenged follow-up questions about the issue of Kelly and race.

"Did you just hear what I just said here?" McCoy asked one reporter. "Then why did you ... I just told you, I'm not talking no more about Chip Kelly or the Eagles. So I'm done with that. You can ask me about the Bills."

When another reporter asked about why he hasn't returned calls from Kelly, McCoy responded, "Yo? Are y'all listening to me? Can I say it any other way? I'm not talking about Chip Kelly or no Eagles. So I'll be done with this interview if nobody else has anything to say about the Bills."

McCoy told ESPN The Magazine in an interview published last month that Kelly had "got rid of all the good players" on the Eagles, "especially all the good black players."

Asked Wednesday if he regrets those comments, McCoy responded, "I never regret nothing I say. Never. Nothing I do. Never regret it."

McCoy doesn't believe his opinion caused a distraction among his Bills teammates.

"I think Rex has said enough things this year to stir up some things anyway," he said. "So it makes it a lot of fun. But yeah, I think if it was a distraction, [Ryan] would have called a team meeting and he would have addressed it like he has so far if there's something going on."

Kelly responded to McCoy's comments last week, saying, "I think he's wrong. We put a lot of time looking into character and factors that go into selection and retention of players. Color's never been one of them."

Kelly said he reached out to McCoy and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to try to clear the air, but that he hasn't spoken to McCoy since trading him to Buffalo in March. Kelly said he wasn't affected by McCoy's comments.

"It doesn't hurt me," Kelly said. "I'm not governed by the fear of what other people say. Events don't elicit feelings. Beliefs elicit feeling. I understand what my beliefs are and I know how I am."

Former Eagles running back and current running backs coach Duce Staley stuck up for Kelly on Wednesday.

"Chip is not a racist at all," Staley said Wednesday. "Chip and I work well together. I mean, everybody has their own opinion. I'm not here to talk about [former teammate] Tra [Thomas] or to talk about what McCoy is talking about. I know from my relationship with Chip, that's definitely far-fetched. We're all here to do a job, and that's football, so don't take a chapter and make it a book."

Staley, who worked with McCoy last season and still works for Kelly now, is the only African American position coach on the Eagles, a fact that was pointed out by Thomas.

On Wednesday, McCoy compared Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman to Kelly, calling the Eagles' coach "a genius."

"The type of guy, the coach that Greg is, he does a bunch of different things," McCoy said. "And that's sort of reminds you of Chip, with the whole just unique style of getting his backs in space. That genius type of thing. No matter what, I feel like he's a genius and Greg is similar. They find ways to kind of trick the defense and get their backs in a lot of open space. So Greg hopefully has a similarity there, for sure."

McCoy told ESPN The Magazine last month that he "[has] no hatred toward [Kelly], nothing to say negative about him," and reiterated that belief Wednesday.

"Yeah, for sure," McCoy said when asked if he respects Kelly. "As a coach? I can't say nothing negative about him, as he knows."

ESPN Eagles reporter Phil Sheridan contributed to this report.

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