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BOSTON (CBS) — Following Sunday’s win over the Texans, Patriots head coach opted to not answer a question about his thoughts regarding the silent protest taken by several members of his team, saying, “I’ll deal with that later.”

On Monday afternoon, the coach released a statement, in which he neither endorsed nor condemned the players on his team who took a knee during the national anthem.

“I have immense respect and admiration for our players, for how they conduct themselves professionally as New England Patriots and for how they represent themselves, their families and community as men,” Belichick said. “I have coached football for over four decades and one of the greatest things about being in this environment is the diversity of people, backgrounds, viewpoints and relationships we are fortunate to experience. As with any large group of people, there is a variety of perspectives and opinions on many topics. Discussions occur between myself, individual players, groups and the entire team on an ongoing basis. They concern the team and other issues surrounding the team. I am going to keep the specifics of those conversations private.

“I will do what I feel is best for the team in my role as head coach and collectively, we will work together to find the best way to proceed.”

The protests — which came after President Donald Trump advocated for any football player kneeling during the anthem to be fired — immediately caused controversy, with loud boos raining down on the field when Patriots players took a knee on the sideline. Many of the players explained their reasoning after the game, though a national debate has nevertheless continued.

Belichick has always displayed a deep appreciation for the U.S. military, as he grew up at the Naval Academy, where his father was a scout for the football team. Just this year, Belichick narrated a World War II documentary.

The protesting players made it clear — Brandin Cooks, Devin McCourty, and Duron Harmon, in particular — that the protest in no way was a show of disrespect to the armed forces. Still, many Americans who believe the flag and the military go hand in hand do not believe the two can be separated.

Comments (6)
  1. TIME TO REMOVE ANTITRUST EXEMPTION
    BELICHICK PROTECTED WITH HIS PLAYERS BY THE USA MILITARY DEFENDING THE FLAG SHOULD GO TO HELL WITH BRADY AND KRAFT……SOB PROTECTED BY AN EXEMPTION THAT NEEDS REPEAL SO THESE SOBS’ UNDERSTAND DEFENDING THE FLAG WITH THE LIVES OF GUYS AND GALS MAKES THESE PLAYERS AND BRADY AND KRAFT LOOKS LIKE AN AMERICAN DISGRACE…..GO TO HELL!

  2. Allen Blaine says:

    This kind of attitude by the owners and managers is what is going to sink the nfl. These millionaire dogs don’t even know what oppression is. They cannot cite one example of this perceived oppression. They can kiss my a$$. They have a right to protest like all of us do, but to do this on national TV is a disgrace. The flag and the anthem have NOTHING to do with what they are protesting. Honoring our soldiers and country is a privilege. Those that gave all deserve our respect. They are lying about the reasons for this, it is blatant in your face hate for America. I am a Vietnam veteran and I condemn these jerks. If the nfl does not put a stop to this their money pit will dry up real fast and the nfl will cease to exist.

  3. All these NFL & NBA owners, coaches, & players are determined to stay unified to maintain the cash flow, but now that we, the public, are seeing that the NFL Wizard of OZ is really a greedy little globalist old man pulling strings and blowing smoke behind a big curtain, will they continue to support the charade?

  4. Gary Gordon says:

    Fck Belicoward and his NE NON Patriots…what a farce….seems to be his BOY killed three people and then himself….save the BS to all the Left FARCE

  5. Were it me, I would stand – alone with with my hand on my heart, or lock-armed. But I also realize that the National Anthem and the flag it salutes represent the freedoms that we have. Freedoms born from soldiers dying for the cause, Americans working for the common good, and ordinary citizens doing what they think is best in their communities. Freedoms that allow you to speak and act freely. The flag and anthem are for all…
    Of course, many what if’s and should be’s can be illuminated, but people shouldn’t see the sacrifices that others have made as supportive of their cause – it goes both ways. Sacrifices and extraordinary efforts are made so you have the ability to state and stand up for – or kneel, for your position.
    We all would be a lot better off with less judgement based on particular perspectives and more acceptance of differences that should not be seen as attacks on one’s personal preference.

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