When Riley Cooper was caught on camera using racial slurs, it heightened the racial tension that was already looming in the sports world.
Cooper apologized, took some time away from the team, and has slowly been welcomed back.
Two Detroit Lions players have openly admitted that using racial slurs is a huge part of their friendship. Louis Delmas, who is black, and Tony Scheffler, who is white, have been friends since they were teammates at Western Michigan.
Delmas told the Detroit News that Cooper deserved the backlash he got, but that Scheffler should not be criticized for using the word “nigga,” because it’s a different circumstance.
“Me and [Scheffler] have a relationship many people do not have — both black and white,” Delmas said. “I look at him like my brother. I love him to death. He greets me, ‘What up, n—–?’ But I understand it. So I say, ‘What’s up, cracker?’ But we would never take it outside the building.”
Scheffler said Delmas calls him racially charged names as a sign of affection.
“I treat Louis like a little brother,” Scheffler said. “He knows my wife and kids. He calls me ‘white boy’ and ‘cracker.’ We go back and forth with it and we are both comfortable with each other. I can’t say the same with other relationships in the locker room or how other guys would feel about it. So it is a tough dynamic when you are using those types of words. Everybody does not react the same.”
I’m sure this story will the draw the ire of a lot of people.
This isn’t the first instance, where I’ve seen two friends, of a different race, feel comfortable using racial terms around each other.