Joe Gibbs defends speaking to Cowboys, says it was about religion
Legendary former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs spoke to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday before their win over the Carolina Panthers, and as you can expect it did not sit well with some of the fans in the nation’s capital. The Cowboys are arguably the Redskins’ biggest rival, so many fans were baffled that Gibbs would agree to give them a pep talk. Gibbs insists that’s not what it was about.
In an appearance on ESPN 890’s “Inside the Locker Room” earlier this week, Gibbs said the so-called “pep talk” was simply about religion.
“It was a chapel service, and Jonathan Evans and Tony Evans – Tony wrote one of the chapters in my book – and he was on about playing life the way God wants you to play life,” Gibbs explained. “I was there, it was a chapel service, and the guys invited me to the chapel and I gave my testimony.
“I talked about the Lord. I did not talk anything about pep talks or football. So I just wanted to clarify that because I am getting a few emails and stuff in here. I want all the Redskins fans to know, hey, look, I’m Redskins all the way and all I was doing was a chapel service.”
As Sarah Kogod of D.C. Sports Bog pointed out, radio host Doc Walker even tried to tell Gibbs and his listeners that there would be nothing wrong with him giving a pep talk to the Cowboys since he is a motivational speaker now and Dallas was not playing the Redskins. Gibbs wanted no part of it.
“I would see something wrong with that ‘cause I don’t want to do that,” he said. “I’m a Redskin.”
There will surely be some Redskins fans who refuse to buy it, but it sounds convincing enough to me. The Jets and Patriots hate each other more than any two teams in the NFL, but several Patriots had no problem gathering around Tim Tebow and company following Sunday’s game for a prayer circle. Many players and coaches are able to separate football from religion, and it there’s no reason to believe Gibbs’ chat with the Cowboys wasn’t another example of that.