Who is Riley Cooper? The answer: someone whose name I didn’t know two weeks ago. I had no clue who this man was two weeks ago but in the time since his story broke, his name has been a constant on my Twitter feed, Facebook timeline and favorite ESPN podcasts. I posted the following status on my own Facebook timeline a couple of days ago:
“The Philadelphia Eagle’s locker room appears to be divided. Could you get past a co-worker who was caught on tape using insensitive language (re: race, gender, sexual orientation, etc)? I can (and have). I [go] o work to make money, not friends. As long as you keep your hands off of me, I’m good. I’m very well equipped to verbally defend myself when needed. So say what you want. Just be prepared for what comes next.”
I had several interesting comments. Some felt that the other team’s defensive lines would serve as karma for Mr. Cooper’s insensitive words. Others thought they’d have a difficult time working side by side with Riley Cooper because of what he’d said. Not me.
I’ve had a job for most of my life. I’ve been working for 22 years. I don’t get up every morning and go to a job because I don’t have anything better to do. (I happen to really enjoy what I do, however, if I hit the PowerBall . . . deuces!) I go to a job because I have goals and aspirations that require the funding gainful employment provides. I work so that I can live – not the other way around. I work to support my real life, the life where the people I love, and who love me, reside. As such, I can work with people who don’t love me. I can work with people I don’t love. I can work with people who hold views that are in direct contradiction to my own views. I can work with people who I think are soulless human beings. I can work with people for whom I hold zero respect. Why? Because MY dreams, MY goals and MY aspirations are bigger than all of them. My personal goals and well-being are far more important to me than a person to whom I will likely never speak once we no longer work together. So why would I let someone so incredibly insignificant to me adversely impact my livelihood? I wouldn’t! Plain and simple. I’m not going to let some idiot get between me and what I have planned for my life. Stay stupid my friend. Stay. Stupid. I’ve got a life to live and goals to reach.