Yes, Patriots coach Bill Belichick admits he wrote a letter to Donald Trump that made its way into Trump’s closing argument for the job he will occupy as of January. No, Belichick claims he did not intend his gesture to be political in nature.
Addressing reporters on Wednesday, Belichick explained why he sent the Trump letter.
“I’ve received a number of inquiries relative to a note that I wrote to Donald on Monday,” Belichick told reporters, via a video posted by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “Our friendship goes back many years, and I think anybody who has spent more than five minutes with me knows I’m not a political person, my comments are not politically motivated [but by] friendship and loyalty to Donald. A couple of weeks ago we had Secretary of State [John] Kerry in our locker room, he’s another friend of mine. I can’t imagine people with more different political views than those two. But to mean friendship and loyalty is just about that, it’s not about political or religious views. I write hundreds of notes and letters ever month. It doesn’t mean I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics or religion or other subjects. I form friendships that are important to me. That’s what that was about.”
When asked follow-up questions on the topic (including one about the potential for distractions or “locker-room rancor”), Belichick repeatedly said, “Seattle.”
There indeed are plenty of questions about Belichick’s letter — beyond those that relate to his team. He claims that his comments weren’t politically motivated, but he had to know that his comments would be used politically. Indeed, Trump explained to the crowd on Monday night that Belichick, after he was asked for permission to share the letter publicly, wrote a second letter that actually spoke in even stronger and more glowing terms than the first one.
So either Belichick is being less than truthful about his motivations, or his football-only focus has left him completely oblivious to the manner in which his words were used for political gain.