Where does Bill Belichick stand on Donald Trump now?

Ken Laird
June 02, 2020 - 11:03 pm

“It’s not about politics.”

That was part of Bill Belichick’s 2016 explanation for his letter of support to Donald Trump, read aloud by the then-Presidential hopeful while campaigning in New Hampshire.

“I think anybody that’s spent more than five minutes with me knows I’m not a political person,” Belichick continued explaining when asked why he penned the note, one of hundreds of such missives he writes each month. “My comments are not politically motivated. I have a friendship and loyalty to Donald. Doesn’t mean I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics, 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.”

Fast forward now to 2020, nearly four years since that campaign push. Nobody is doubting that it’s still Bill Belichick’s right to support his friend Donald Trump. But is it the right thing to do?

In light of the failure of leadership from Trump in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd,  maybe it’s time for Belichick to write the President a new letter.

Tell Donald that now, politics really do matter. And you’re out on supporting him until things in America are really made great for everyone, including African-Americans.

We’re in the middle of a pandemic and a race-demic, and for solving the latter white people are rightfully being asked to do more this time around.

Many in the sports world are responding. Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, Joe Burrow, J.J. Watt, and yes even Tom Brady have taken to social media to voice outrage over Floyd’s murder or to support a push for real systematic change in race relations.

Sure they’re just words, but words can lead to action. And we know Trump values every word Belichick wrote to him four years ago.

Revisiting that original message, Belichick said to Trump: “Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media, and have come out beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. 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”

Here we are nearly four years later, and the “ultimate fighter” Trump spent part of the past few days tucked away in the White House bunker in fear of protesters outside his gates.

Monday evening, Trump and his staff ordered up a dose of martial law by gathering the might of federal forces at their disposal to bully and batter a peaceful gathering in Lafayette Park just outside the President’s Palace.

Not sure if the Australian cameraman was offering “slanted coverage” for his country when he was blasted in the chest by a riot shield, or if the Aussie reporter who was clubbed with a police baton was being “negative,” but they looked pretty docile to me.

Of course, it was all well worth it for Trump’s staged church and Bible photo-op, which I’m sure his re-election campaign team felt “came out beautifully.”

But seriously, what does Belichick think of Trump and his “amazing leadership” now?

Even once-ardent Trump followers have been turned away by this Presidents’ response to the nation’s pain, which largely have been actions to further divide.

What do Bill’s players think of these actions and the peaceful protesters who were muscled aside while calling for peace, for black lives to matter, and of course for the end of murder of black men at the hands of police officers?

This isn’t 2016 anymore. We’ve reached the Malcolm Gladwell tipping point. Powerful white leaders in all walks of life need to speak up. We all need to take the side of racial equality.

And if not a scathing admonishment of Trump’s actions, how about Belichick sends a letter with a few leadership tips from his experiences as the coaching GOAT? Or simply offers to be the conduit for discussions between Team Trump and some of the passionate players for Team Belichick? 

And if sadly Belichick can only see the world through football goggles, let’s examine that issue. Is supporting Trump now the best thing for Belichick’s football team?

Belichick did allow his team kneel and lock arms during a national anthem in 2017 after Trump’s infamous “get that son of a bitch off the field” threat for owners to fire players who don’t stand during the Star-Spangled Banner. In that moment, Belichick felt his team needed unity.

What about now? Training camp won’t be the same as in past years, but at some point his 2020 group will gather. What a powerful statement of unity it would be to the team to have Belichick publicly in their camp of driving cultural change for how black men are still being mistreated in America.

Belichick was in his first year in Cleveland in 1991 when Rodney King was brutally beaten by police. Thirty years later, is Belichick as stunned as the rest of us to ponder that nothing has really changed in the fear that black men feel on the streets?

This time around, maybe white star power will help. It might at the very least help the message stay on course and not devolve into the blame-game on which extremist groups are looting and rioting in cities across the nation.

And it’s even more obvious now how off-course the narrative became during the Colin Kaepernick kneeling movement. We now know that taking a knee was never about dishonoring the flag or the military, but rather about shining a spotlight on this dark underbelly of police brutality that somehow remains ingrained in our culture.

Belichick might help. It’s worth a try, on the field and certainly off. A phone call, a letter, a speech, a post on “snap-face,” any sign of life might do.

Now is not the time to hide behind the football. It’s time for Bill Belichick to make it about politics.