When Kirk Cousins held his first offseason youth football camp as a member of the Minnesota Vikings this week, he also did so as an ambassador of his faith.
The Vikings’ prized addition of 2018 free agency, Cousins instructed more than 350 boys on the campus of Michigan’s Hope College for his annual football camp. That instruction came in between a dad’s lunch, knocker ball battles and, of course, plenty of football talk. But all of it was prefaced by Cousins’ insistence that a walk with God should come before anything else.
“If I’m going to put my name on a football camp, it’s got to communicate what I’m about,” Cousins said, per Vikings.com’s Lindsey Young. “And the foundation of my life is the Bible and is the Gospel, so it’d be hard for me to put a camp on, whether it’s football or anything else, and not talk about the foundation of my life.”
Cousins also instituted incentives for campers who soaked up Scripture during the event, as Young wrote:
Campers received a verse of the day, learning Philippians 2:3-4 and Ephesians 4:29 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Cousins first explained his commitment to learning the Vikings playbook as part of joining a new offense, and he then encouraged young athletes to use the Bible as a “playbook for life.”
The camp’s faith focus echoes what Cousins said on the Sports Spectrum podcast in April: “Choosing to follow Jesus instead of the world … in the long run, it pays off.”
Like former Vikings quarterbacks Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford before him, Cousins has long been vocal about his connection to Christ. In May, roughly two months after he made his anticipated free-agent decision, he lent his voice to PULSE Twin Cities, Minnesota’s biggest faith-based event since 1996’s Minneapolis Billy Graham crusade.
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