The presidential election had hundreds of twists and turns, but the final bizarre one (before the hammer blow that was the final result) was Donald Trump reading aloud an encouraging letter at his final campaign rally which he claimed was sent to him by Bill Belichick. Even more bizarrely, that turned out to be true.
With Trump being a figure that triggers fear and anger in so many, Belichick had some explaining to do at a press conference he held on Wednesday. He gave a statement about the letter, then moved on quickly and brusquely.
Here are Belichick’s comments, as transcribed by ESPN:
“I think anybody that has spent more than five minutes with me knows I’m not a political person. My comments are not politically motivated — the friendship and loyalty to Donald. A couple of weeks ago, we had Secretary of State [John] Kerry in our locker room [after a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers]. He’s another friend of mine. I can’t imagine two people with more different political views than those two. But to me, friendship and loyalty is just about that. It’s not about political or religious views.
“I write hundreds of letters and notes every month,” Belichick said. “It doesn’t mean I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics or religion or other subjects. But I have multiple friendships that are important to me, and that’s what that was about. So it’s not about politics. It’s about football. We have a huge game this week against a great football team, a great organization, and that’s where it all is going forward. On to Seattle.”
It’s exactly as unhelpful and obfuscating an answer as you’d expect Belichick to give on his team’s injury report, but it hurts a little worse when it’s a public figure trying to explain away a positive letter he wrote to a political figure without saying it’s an endorsement. It’s doubly irritating to be reminded how convenient it is that a white male who makes millions of dollars gets to say he’s “not a political person.” The women and people of color whose rights may be under siege don’t get to opt out of politics.
In other words, it’s a statement that begs a follow-up question or two, but Belichick staunchly refused to answer any, stubbornly responding with one word — “Seattle,” the Patriots’ upcoming opponents — until the reporters dropped the topic.