Brandon Boykin: Chip Kelly ‘Uncomfortable’ Around Black Players
For a coach who doesn't want drama in his locker room, there sure has been much of it.
Just hours after the Eagles announced that slot cornerback Brandon Boykin was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a conditional 4th round draft pick, more racism shade was thrown in the direction of Chip Kelly.
In a series of text messages sent to Derrick Gunn of Comcast Sportsnet, Boykin reignited the controversy of the off season in that Kelly is racist towards black players.
In a text message to Comcast SportsNet’s Derrick Gunn, Boykin said Kelly is “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.”
“He can’t relate and that makes him uncomfortable,” Boykin added in the text message. “He likes total control of everything, and he don’t like to be uncomfortable. Players excel when you let them naturally be who they are, and in my experience that hasn’t been important to him, but you guys have heard this before me.”
The “heard this before me” reference pertains to other Eagles who were sent packing, one way or another, during Kelly’s tenure as head coach. Kelly’s third training camp starts Sunday at the NovaCare Complex.
This marks multiple times that jettisoned players have come out publicly and accused Kelly of being racist after a number of black players, most notably LeSean McCoy, were either traded or released.
In his press conference on Sunday Kelly admitted that he was stunned when he learned of Boykin's accusations.
"I don't why he would say that," Kelly told reporters. “When he left here last night he shook my hand and gave me a hug, didn’t say anything,” he said.
The Steelers surrendered a fifth round pick for one of the best nickel cornerbacks in the league. If Boykin plays 60 percent of the snaps this season, a fourth round pick in 2016 will then convey for the Eagles.
Boykin was on the last year of his rookie contract and it seemed unlikely that both parties would want a contract extension moving forward. Add Boykin's undersized frame at 5'9 and the depth at the position, Boykin seemed expendable.
Still we've heard this sentiment before from jettisoned black players and Kelly continues to take the high road when asked to respond to these allegations.
On the field Kelly has a certain type of player in mind when fitting to his system, Boykin and McCoy were not deemed as scheme fits in the end.
Off the field, it remains to be seen as to why there is common sentiment of jettisoned players throwing shade on their way out the door.
Is it sour grapes?
Could there also be an issue in the locker room that current players choose not to talk about because it would jeopardize their job?
There could be some truth to that, too.
Either way, real games start in just over a month and you wonder if all the drama surrounding the Eagles this off season will bleed onto the football.
We'll find out on Monday night in Atlanta.