David Irving is interesting, to say the least. The former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle announced his retirement from the NFL while lighting up a blunt on Instagram. That’s unique.
Irving, who earlier this year was suspended for his third violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, might not be the most reliable source. But his words on Cowboys coach Jason Garrett will get some attention.
In an interview with Damon Amendolara of CBS Sports Radio, Irving spoke at length about the Cowboys. Among the most notable things Irving said was that he thought Garrett, while not racist, had a problem relating to people of color.
That’ll grab some headlines.
David Irving says many people don’t get along with Jason Garrett
Some of the immediate reaction to the interview was that it was unfair to Garrett. Here’s what Irving said about Garrett, after saying he and the Cowboys coach “have never really got along.”
“It’s not just one person that doesn’t get along with him. It’s a lot of people,” Irving told Amendolara. “I feel like he needs to be more comfortable with people of color, to be honest with you. This is a league where there’s a lot of people of color around, and you’re going to have to deal with us. If you don’t know how to talk to us or relate to us – we just never got along. He’s the only person I haven’t gotten along with in pretty much all my career in football.”
Former #Cowboys DT David Irving tells me he thinks Jason Garrett is “uncomfortable with people of color.” I found Irving to be pretty insightful & thought-provoking during our 20-min conversation. pic.twitter.com/yu2gdoXMrm
— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) April 3, 2019
Amendolara asked Irving specifically if he thought Garrett had problems connecting with people of color.
“I think it’s a little uncomfortable for him. Not to say the man’s racist. He’s definitely not racist,” Irving said to Amendolara. “Do not get me wrong. It’s just maybe he’s socially awkward.”
Irving: Garrett didn’t like that I didn’t work as hard as he wanted
Take what Irving said for whatever you think it’s worth. He played four seasons under Garrett. He also admittedly doesn’t like him. It’s an edited, brief look, but Garrett came off as relatable and friendly with his players during the “All or Nothing” series on Amazon Video, which showed the behind-the-scenes workings of the Cowboys through an entire season.
A story Irving told about being irked that Garrett wanted him to work hard makes Irving a little tougher to take seriously.
“I know he has a problem with me because I don’t necessarily work as hard as he thinks I should work to be as good as I am at football,” Irving said. “I feel like Jason is one of those guys where, growing up in football, he was always the second-hand man or the third-string guy, and I feel like he had to work his a-s-s off to even be able to step on the field with some of these guys. Me, I could roll out of bed with a hangover and go outperform anybody. I don’t think he liked that.”
Once we see that as a key issue Irving had with Garrett, it paints everything else he said in a more skeptical way.
Life around the Cowboys is never boring, and Irving’s comments were an unexpected turn.
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