Bill Belichick Takes the Cowardly Way out When Asked about Donald Trump

Belichick refuses to acknowledge his Trump endorsement was political, and won't take any questions on it.

Bill Belichick

Photo via AP

Bill Belichick says his fawning endorsement letter to Donald Trump wasn’t about politics. He also refuses to answer any questions about it. This makes him a liar and a coward.

At his Wednesday press conference, Belichick opened up with a statement about his message to Trump, which the president-elect read at a rally in New Hampshire Monday. In it, Belichick scolds the supposedly rigged media and says he hopes Trump wins the election. It reads exactly like a campaign press release.

“Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully—beautifully,” Belichick writes. “You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s elections results will give the opportunity to Make America Great Again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow, Bill Belichick.”

The letter sounded so much like Trump that there was doubt about whether Belichick had actually written it. But the Patriots’ head coach confirmed those were his words. “Our friendship goes back many years and I think anybody that spends more than five minutes with me knows I’m not a political person,” he said. “My comments are not politically motivated in my friendship and loyalty to Donald.”

At the end of his brief statement, Belichick said he was on to Seattle. He didn’t entertain any follow-up questions, blurting out “Seattle” instead of explaining how a presidential endorsement could possibly be apolitical. The press conference ended when Belichick was asked whether his support for Trump was creating a distraction for the team.

Belichick isn’t a public servant in the literal sense. He works for a privately-owned business and doesn’t have a responsibility to explain his actions to anybody. But that doesn’t make his decision any less spineless. He backed the most divisive presidential candidate in modern history and refuses to own it. The Patriots preach accountability, but when it was time for Belichick to step up, he deflected.

Every day, millions of Patriots fans—many of whom belong to minority groups that Trump belittled and threatened throughout his hateful campaign—express their support for Belichick. They buy Patriots tickets and merchandise, devoting hours of their time to watch his team play football. He owes those people an explanation. Female Patriots fans deserve to hear why Belichick is so blindly loyal to a man who brags about sexually assaulting women. Patriots fans in the Latino community whose families may be torn apart deserve to hear why Belichick thinks a man who calls Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists” is an “amazing leader.” Muslim Patriots fans who now fear for their safety deserve to hear why Belichick wants a man in the White House who threatens to ban their people from coming to the U.S. Patriots fans who are LGBTQ deserve to hear why Belichick supports a man whose running mate is a proponent of gay conversion therapy, which leads people to suicide.

Belichick tacitly came out in support of all those things when he tacitly supported Trump. But instead of being truthful and transparent, he hid behind his scowl. That’s weak.