In case you were living under a rock recently, there was a lot of talk about Chip Kelly and race last week following Brandon Boykin's parting comments about the Eagles head coach. Boykin later clarified those comments, saying the issue wasn't about race as much as it was about the coach not being able to relate to his players.
Recently, two anonymous African-American current Eagles players recently shared their thoughts on Kelly with Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report. Here's what they had to say:
""Chip is not a racist. The notion he is isn't fair. The thing with Chip is he just doesn't see you as a person. He sees you as a commodity. The more players get that, the better off they'll be."
The player added: "Chip's attitude towards players doesn't bother me. I actually like it. I know where I stand with him. You understand that he doesn't want to be challenged so don't f--king challenge him. It's pretty simple. I get it. Some guys don't."
A second African-American Eagles player said: "He sets the agenda. You don't follow it, you're dead to him. That's not racial. Some guys handle it well, some guys don't."
The players declined to be named out of fear of repercussions from Kelly."
Following a shift in the Eagles' front office power structure, Kelly has spent the offseason reshaping the team's roster the way he sees fit. He's shown no reluctance to move on from players who don't buy in.
As the current players even said, it hasn't been about race. But there is some evidence to suggest Kelly doesn't get along with all his players. And that's to be expected in any job. Employees and employers rarely exist in perfect harmony all the time.
For as much as there's been made about Kelly not being able to relate to players, I wonder: to what extent it's really true, how much it differs from other head coaches (Bill Belichick, anyone?), and how much it really matters. The bottom line cold truth is it's all about winning. So far, Kelly has done a lot of that.