Former Washington Commanders tight end Chris Cooley is skipping an upcoming ceremony honoring him as a franchise great. The two-time Pro Bowler gave a succinct explanation for his absence to the The Kevin Sheehan Show on Wednesday: “Because I don’t want to.”
Cooley, who spent his entire nine-year career in Washington, went on to explain his position further.
“I don’t have any interest in doing this,” Cooley said. “I’m very appreciative of being voted in and I’m very appreciative of my time when I was there with (Washington). At this point, I don’t have a lot of desire to be involved with the Washington Commanders.”
On Sept. 1, Cooley was announced as one of 10 fan-voted selections to the team’s 90 greatest players list. The organization came up with the list to celebrate its 90th anniversary.
Even though Cooley won’t be attending the ceremony, which is set to take place Sunday at FedEx Field, he is very appreciative of the fans who voted for him.
“I feel for all of the fans for where they are at, and I still appreciate the people that are still fans, that are still diehards,” Cooley said. “Because you know very well, as much as me, even at times maybe you even find yourself cheering against (the Commanders). It’s still the only game you are rooting. I’m not going to watch a Bills or Broncos game and say I’m a Broncos fan, I hope. There’s no other team, so my only interest is still Washington.”
The Commanders are off to a 2-4 start this season, but the players’ performance on the field is probably not what is keeping Cooley away, although he didn’t explicitly explain why he doesn’t want to be involved with the team.
The organization has continuously been on the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Some are funny like the official team truck accidentally selling mugs featuring the state of Washington, some are strange like a 50/50 raffle winner getting a bad check, and others are more serious.
In Tuesday’s NFL owners meeting, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he thinks “there’s merit” to removing Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. Last summer, the league fined the Commanders $10 million and took Snyder off day-to-day duties because the organization had a “hostile workplace environment” under his watch. The NFL is in the process of investigating him for issues surrounding workplace misconduct and sexual harassment.