Bill Belichick fumbles chance to explain why he veered toward the political

Mike Florio
·2 min read

Patriots coach Bill Belichick made a very rare detour from football earlier this week to urge U.S. intervention in a foreign conflict that is seriously affecting the interests of Armenians.

On Friday, he was asked the natural followup question during a press conference: “What are the determinants in your view in how you go about using your platform in order to speak out on various issues?”

It’s a fair question, especially given the “stick to sports” message that so many will send when athletes or coaches address political issues (or, more specifically, political issues that disagree with their own political views). So what’s the answer, Bill? What are the factors that cause you to use your platform to bring attention to a cause other than football?

“I really try to focus most of my attention on coaching football,” Belichick said. “But there was a very nice comment made there and so it really is kind of along the lines of the comment that . . . Secretary [of Defense Christopher Miller] made.”

That answer, frankly, is either evasive or nonsensical. Basically, he’s saying he took a hard right turn into political activism in response to a compliment from a politician. There’s simply no logical connection between the two. Making the connection even more unusual is the fact that Belichick met the compliment with a challenge, given the current administration’s policy regarding the conflict in question.

It all comes back to the question of when and where political views from athletes and coaches will be welcomed and when they will be rejected. Some have been shunned for raising concerns about the killing of American citizens by American law enforcement, because the political viewpoint wasn’t regarded as mainstream or popular. If we don’t want athletes and coaches to go political, why isn’t that the universal reaction?

Bill Belichick fumbles chance to explain why he veered toward the political originally appeared on Pro Football Talk