What if we told you that Tony Scheffler, a white tight end for the Detroit Lions, routinely calls one of his black teammates, safety Louis Delmas, the N-word? And what if we also told you that Delmas has made a habit out of calling Scheffler a "cracker" every time he sees him? After seeing what happened with Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper last week, you would probably think that Scheffler and Delmas' relationship is a problem. A BIG problem.
But the truth of the matter is that Scheffler and Delmas are basically besties when they're inside the Lions locker room. They both attended Western Michigan University about a decade ago and, according to the Detroit News, that has led to a relationship where they both feel comfortable enough to use racial slurs when addressing one another. So that often leads to conversations like this:
"Hey, cracker," Delmas will say to Scheffler in the Lions' training facility.
"How's my n------?" Scheffler will reply.
Weird? Uh, yeah. They both say that they never take their schtick out into the world. But within the confines of the Lions facility, they're both cool with the way they interact.
"Me and [Scheffler] have a relationship many people do not have," Delmas says, "both black and white. I look at him like my brother. I love him to death. He greets me, 'What up, n-----?' But I understand it. So I say, 'What up, cracker?' But we would never take it outside the building."
With all the controversy swirling around Cooper right now, something tells us the Lions management might tell them to cut it out inside the building, too. Even though they're both comfortable with it, other people might not be so open to it.