From refusing to shower Tom Brady with public praise to getting rid of beloved New England Patriots players without a second thought, Belichick has operated with a cold, calculated style for decades. Of course, the Patriots have won six Super Bowl titles since Robert Kraft brought him back to New England.
Still, the 69-year-old NFL legend rarely shows his human side. And if you just judge him on his general demeanor and way he does business, you could convince at least a few people that Belichick’s heartless ways make him more machine than man.
But by turning his back on Donald Trump, the Patriots head coach proved he’s human after all. Because despite supporting him for many years, even Belichick had to finally say no to a man who rarely hears that word.
Bill Belichick keeps it all about business
From his monotone press conferences to his ruthless decisions as a general manager, Bill Belichick doesn’t let emotions get in the way of doing business.
As the architect of the most dominant dynasty in NFL history, he showed no hesitation in making moves that caused plenty of heartbreak for Patriots fans. Just before the start of the 2003 season, Belichick shockingly released popular Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy. He also got rid of Mike Vrabel (another fan favorite) as part of the Matt Cassel trade.
Even the best players in franchise history couldn’t survive Belichick’s emotionless manner of running a team.
Patriots Hall of Famer Richard Seymour got traded due to contractual issues. Rather than extend one of the team’s top defensive stars, Belichick shipped him to one of the worst franchises in football.
Logan Mankins also suffered a similar fate. The perennial Pro Bowl guard didn’t get a chance to finish his career in New England. Instead, he got sent south to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in August 2014. Less than six months later, the Patriots hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in a decade.
Of course, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski also went from the Patriots to the Buccaneers due largely to Belichick. New England’s hard-nosed coach/GM refused to give the two future Hall of Famers multi-year extensions, which eventually led to both players’ exits.
Overall, Belichick’s public persona suggests he only cares about winning football games. At the same time, though, the typically emotionless head coach has treated Donald Trump much differently than the greatest quarterback of all time or any other player who has crossed paths with him.
The Patriots coach has publicly supported Donald Trump
Politics and sports intertwine in certain moments.
For Bill Belichick, that occurred in 2016.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump read a letter written by New England’s head coach at a New Hampshire rally.
“Congratulations on a tremendous campaign,” Trump read. “You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully. Beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing.”
He continued, “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 election results will give the opportunity to make America great again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow, Bill Belichick.”
Interestingly, that wasn’t the original version of the letter.
Trump reportedly called Belichick to ask if he could read the first version he sent. However, the Patriots head coach reportedly asked Trump to send him back the letter so he could make some alterations, which he obviously did.
Ultimately, Belichick put his full-fledged support behind the presidential nominee by later declaring, “Our friendship goes back many years and I think that anybody who’s spent more than five minutes with me knows I’m not a political person.”
Belichick proved he’s human after all by turning his back on the president
Bill Belichick has caught plenty of criticism in recent years for his public support of Donald Trump. For a coach who doesn’t exactly endear himself to the fans and media, his relationship with the sitting president certainly hasn’t helped him win any PR battles.
However, Belichick could have been in an even worse position if he accepted an offer from his longtime friend.
But on Monday, the NFL icon officially turned his back on Trump.
And in doing so, he proved he’s human after all.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared a statement from Belichick on Twitter in which the Patriots coach announced that he will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom that Trump offered him recently. He cited “the tragic events of last week” in discussing his decision to turn down the award.
In addition to making his plans clear, Belichick showed his human side by expressing some powerful words about social justice.
“Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy,” Belichick said in his statement. “I also know I represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, though the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions.”
He finished with, “Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”