Former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin wants to make it clear that he doesn't believe his ex-football coach is a racist; he just feels that he has trouble relating to men of "our culture."
Boykin explained to CSN Philly in a series of text messages that he wasn't trying to call Chip Kelly a bigot, but that when he was around the coach and they weren't talking football, Kelly was "uncomfortable."
"He can't relate and that makes him uncomfortable," Boykin said in one text. "He likes total control of everything, and he don't like to be uncomfortable. Players excel when you let them naturally be who they are, and in my experience that hasn't been important to him, but you guys have heard this before me."
The four-year starter, who was recently traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the second former Eagles player to comment on Kelly's ability to relate to black players.
Star running back Lesean McCoy told ESPN after he was dealt in the offseason that Kelly "got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players."
When asked about claims that there might be an undertone of race-related tension in the locker room, Kelly told reporters in May that he isn't bothered by the claims of former players.
"That doesn't hurt me," Kelly said in May. "I'm not governed by the fear of what other people say. Events don't elicit feelings. I think beliefs elicit feelings. I understand what my beliefs are and I know how I am."
On Sunday, Kelly addressed Boykin's departure from the team and noted that he seemed "stunned" to learn that he had been traded from the team.
"He was disappointed," Kelly said, according to ESPN. "I think he really liked it here, very close with his teammates."
Kelly added: "When he left here last night, he shook my hand, gave me a hug. I like Brandon."