Bill Belichick likes to keep things close to his vest. The Patriots coach is notorious for refusing to give reporters much of anything when he holds press conferences.
So when the legendary coach wrote Donald Trump a letter of support back in 2016, he probably didn’t expect Trump to read it to a New Hampshire crowd in a desperate attempt to win votes. And according to a the upcoming It’s Better to Be Feared from Seth Wickersham, it got Belichick in hot water with his players.
“In 2016, after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump read a letter of support from Belichick at a campaign rally, Patriots assistant coach Brian Flores told Belichick that several players were angry and that he ‘needed to say something’ to the team. Belichick addressed the team, but it didn’t help initially. Many players felt he was being disingenuous. ‘It was hypocritical and out of character,’ a Patriots player recalled. ‘I don’t think he’s an intolerant coach. He isn’t a bad guy. Bill just f—ed up and justified it in a way that he would never accept from a player.’ After the meeting, a small group of Patriots players considered boycotting practice but then reconsidered.”
When later asked about the letter, Belichick told reporters, “To me, friendship and loyalty, it’s just about that. It’s not about political or religious views. I write hundreds of letters and notes every month. It doesn’t mean I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics, religion and other subjects. I have wonderful friendships that are important to me. That’s what that was about.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.