BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick’s press conference took an unexpected turn into global politics on Wednesday morning.
It happened after the Patriots’ head coach was asked for his reaction to Acting Secretary Of Defense Christopher Miller using Belichick’s “Do Your Job” mantra in a letter to Department of Defense employees.
“Well, I really appreciate the kind words from Secretary Miller,” Belichick said in a video conference with Patriots reporters. “When you consider the type of leadership that he’s shown throughout his career serving our country, it really means a lot. I’m flattered by the reference that he made.”
Belichick then used that opportunity to speak out in favor of the United States taking action against Turkey for supporting Azerbaijan’s attacks on Armenians.
“I’ll just say, while while we’re on the subject, I read his point about combating traditional threats. And I couldn’t help but think and hope that we’ve seen from other countries around the world, and I hope that our country will take action against Turkey and Azerbaijan for their unprovoked and deadly attacks on Armenians,” Belichick said. “We’ve seen that when a humanitarian crisis and things like that, like ethnic cleaning, go unpunished, that they just continue to happen. I hope that we can put a stop to that.”
Belichick has spoken out in this particular area before, in a video for director of football/head coach administration Berj Najarian’s Instagram page.
“I have learned that throughout Armenian history, regardless of any adversity or tragedy, the Armenian people have continued to thrive and persevere,” Belichick said in that video. “I hope and pray for peace, justice, and the safety of the brave soldiers that are fighting for their nation’s recognition and freedom.”
Najarian, who’s been with the Patriots since February of 2000, generally operates in the background as Belichick’s “right-hand man.” But he’s been outspoken about matters pertaining to Armenia, including during a Patriots trip to the White House after winning a Super Bowl. Najarian said that he directly told Barack Obama that the president should ignore the pressure from Turkey and recognize the genocide in Armenia.
Belichick wore an Armenian flag on his lapel during that trip to the White House.