Report: Patriots players considered boycotting after Bill Belichick’s letter to Trump

Bill Belichick openly had a friendship with Donald Trump — leading to a letter from the head coach ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Belichick said the letter was led by friendship and not politics.

“Our friendship goes back many years,” Belichick said in a statement. “Anybody who’s spent more than five minutes with me knows I’m not a political person. My comments are not politically motivated. I have a friendship and loyalty to Donald. A couple weeks ago, we had Secretary of State (John) Kerry in our locker room, another friend of mine. I can’t imagine two people with more different political views than those two. 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.”

According to ESPN’s Seth Wickersham’s new book “It’s Better To Be Feared,” that letter caused some issues within the New England Patriots’ locker room. There were even players ready to boycott practice because of the “hypocrisy” from their coach.

Here’s an excerpt from the book regarding the frustration.

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. 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.

Belichick later declined the Presidential Medal of Freedom after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. With this new context, it’s very possible his players were considered when making this decision.

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source https://sports.yahoo.com/report-patriots-players-considered-boycotting-142450747.html?src=rss

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