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Eagles players defend Chip Kelly against LeSean McCoy's racism accusations

Eagles players came to Chip Kelly's aid Thursday after OTAs, saying they disagreed with LeSean McCoy's comments that the head coach was getting rid of "all the black players" in Philadelphia.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy claimed earlier this month that Chip Kelly was getting rid of "all the black players" when asked about the Philadelphia Eagles head coach's personnel moves this offseason. Three weeks later, Kelly and several Eagles teammates have responded to the accusations.

First, Kelly said that McCoy was "wrong" speaking with reporters before OTAs on Thursday, adding that he had tried to reach out to McCoy multiple times without success. After practice, reporters spoke with several players who backed up their head coach.

"It upsets me that our team has to deal with those comments," center Jason Kelce told CSN Philadelphia. "It upsets me that it's just another distraction to put in front of the guys who all bought in and are doing things the right way."

Notably, several black players took McCoy to task. Running back DeMarco Murray, who was signed by the Eagles to play a feature role in McCoy's place, reportedly laughed off the accusations. Via CSN Philly:

As he stood at the edge of the practice field, McCoy's replacement at running back, DeMarco Murray, said he was unaware of what McCoy said. When McCoy's remarks about Kelly cutting "all the good black players" were relayed to him, Murray surveyed the scene and chuckled a little bit.

"I'm looking around," Murray said with a smirk. "There are a lot of us out here. I'm not sure about that."

Safety Malcolm Jenkins brushed off McCoy's comments as a non-issue:

"Chip has been very, very transparent on what he's evaluating us on," Jenkins said. "That's not only what we do on the field, but what we do in our assessments and how disciplined we are with our nutrition and all the sports science stuff. I haven't seen him make a move outside of those parameters. I don't think anybody in the locker room now thinks we have an issue with race. I don't see that being a problem in the future. I don't think there's any need for Chip to address it [with the locker room]."

McCoy was traded to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso in March. The move was one of several significant personnel decisions that Kelly has made during his short time in Philadelphia. Just this year, the team has released black players like cornerback Cary Williams and linebacker Trent Cole, and allowed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to sign with Kansas City as a free agent. In 2014, the Eagles released wide receiver DeSean Jackson, a move that McCoy singled out during his interview with ESPN.

Kelly has also brought in black players, however, signing Murray along with fellow running back Ryan Mathews and cornerback Byron Maxwell. The Eagles' 2015 NFL Draft class was predominantly black, as well.

Jenkins said that he was not shocked to hear that McCoy had been traded. McCoy declined somewhat in 2014 after a stellar 2013. His total rushing total dropped by nearly 300 yards and his per-carry average dipped from 5.1 yards to 4.2. The running back's comments seemingly caught the team off-guard, however, according to both Jenkins and Kelce:

"Me and Malcolm, we talked the next day after it happened," Kelce said. "He was obviously shocked that it happened. I'm not going to get too much more into it. I don't think those comments really warrant a response."