Viral Video Crisis Management: Riley Cooper

NFL player is latest to be caught on tape behaving badly

It feels like we’re seeing some type of public figure embarrassed by bad behavior captured on a smartphone’s camera just about every other day. Apparently, the memo still hasn’t gotten around – if you’re recognizable, and acting like an ass, you’re going to wind up on YouTube faster than you can say, “crisis management.”

Late last month, Philadelphia Eagles receiver Riley Cooper was immortalized shouting, “I will jump that fence and fight every (n-word) here” at a Kenny Chesney concert as he tried to bully his way backstage, and the video was quickly snapped up by CrossingBroad.com (warning, explicit language).

Cooper issued apologies both through official channels and via Twitter, but the Eagles front office felt further crisis management was needed. In an unusual move, the team excused Cooper from all team activities for several days while he underwent counseling to, as the official statement explained, “meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates.”

Cooper actually started for the Eagles in their first preseason game this past Friday, and there was a notable lack of negative reaction from the fans in attendance, indicating that the team made wise decision in sending him away to let things cool down. Of course, it helps that the Eagles desperately need Cooper in the receiver slot, and that he actually caught a pass for first down. After all, sports fans are notoriously forgiving as long as you’re performing well.

The takeaway here? Don’t act like an ass! Sure, this has always been a rule, but many, especially those spoiled by fame and fortune, have been able able to ignore it with relative safety. With today’s technology, whether you’re running passes into the end zone, a Fortune 500 company, or the front counter at a retail store, behave like you’re on camera at all times because, well, you just might be!

Erik Bernstein
Social Media Manager
http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/

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