Kenny Chesney has reacted to a video showing Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper making threats and using a racial slur at the country singer’s June 9 concert.
Chesney says he was shocked by the video, which recently surfaced on YouTube. In a lengthy statement, the star goes on to admonish Cooper’s use of the N-word.
“I don’t believe in discrimination in any form, and I think using language like that is not only unacceptable, it is hateful beyond words,” Chesney remarked to ESPN this week.
He also tells writer LZ Granderson that he finds NFL players to be an inspiration, as they’re very charitable as a group. His statement reads:
“To judge an entire audience by one loud mouth isn’t fair … not to the NFL, not to the city of Philadelphia and that awesome crowd, not to my band and crew and certainly not to me, who believes music is about bringing people together for friendship and forgetting about the things in life that bring you down. The music I make is about living life, loving life and loving everybody — no matter who they are. That’s how I was raised, and what someone else does or says doesn’t reflect who I am or what my fans stand for.”
The statement comes one day after Cooper apologized for his actions. The Eagles fined him for the incident.
This is the second time a Chesney show in Pennsylvania has led to bad press, although it’d be unfair to blame the singer for either incident. On June 22, he played Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. Afterward, video and pictures of multiple fights and a mountain of trash surfaced, leading to several complaints from city officials and residents.