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Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly on Thursday denied LeSean McCoy's inflammatory insinuation that Kelly is a racist.
"I've got great respect for LeSean; however, in that situation, I think he's wrong," Kelly said in his first public response to McCoy's comments in an ESPN The Magazine interview earlier this month.
"We've put a lot of time into looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players," Kelly said, "and color has never been one of them."
McCoy, the former star running back of the Eagles who was traded to the Buffalo Bills in March, said earlier this month that Kelly "got rid of ... all of the good black players" in Philadelphia. McCoy specifically mentioned wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who was released after the 2013 season. The Eagles also let receiver Jeremy Maclin sign with the Kansas City Chiefs this year.
In the interview with ESPN The Magazine, McCoy said, "(Kelly) wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players, especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That's the truth. There's a reason. ... It's hard to explain with him. But there's a reason he got rid of all the black players -- the good ones -- like that."
Of course, McCoy failed to mention that Kelly brought in several good black players this offseason, replacing McCoy with running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews and adding free-agent defensive backs Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond and drafting five black players.
The Eagles had not commented on McCoy's interview until Kelly spoke Thursday after practice.
Kelly said he has tried to call McCoy twice, "and he didn't accept my call."
Kelly also said McCoy's comments don't bother him.
"It doesn't hurt me," he said. "I'm not governed by the fear of what people say. I understand what my beliefs are. (If) you start chasing perception, you've got a long life ahead of you.