On and off the competitive playing field, New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is a man of few, but well-chosen, words, and he showed that admirable trait again recently, by refuting reckless assumptions about COVID19 vaccinations and by remaining steadfastly respectful of player privacy.
Speaking via cam to reporters on September 1, Mr. Belichick calmly fielded questions that veered into the politicized “COVID jab” issue and who on the team might, or might not, be so-called “vaccinated".
It might come as little surprise that the most successful head coach in National Football League history would be concise and, in reasonable fashion, dismantle a few errant assumptions.
Asked if quarterback Cam Newton’s “vaccine status” had anything to do with his recent release from the Patriots, Belichick said:
No. You know, you guys keep talking about that, and… I’d just point out that, I don’t know what the number is, but – you guys can look it up, you have access to a lot of information – but the number of players and coaches and staff members that have, um, you know, been infected by COVID in this training camp, who have been vaccinated, is a pretty high number, so I wouldn’t lose sight of that.
Shortly thereafter, a reporter asked:
You said there was a high number of players who have been vaccinated have been affected by COVID, as well. I guess the point with Cam was that (…) he didn’t get sick but he was still affected by it, so that didn’t play a role in your decision?
Belichick listened to the rehash of the earlier question, and respectfully responded:
No. We have other players on the team who aren’t vaccinated – as, I would say, probably does every other team in the league – and we’ve had minimal but, throughout the league there have been a number of – quite a high number, I would say -- of players who have had the virus who have been vaccinated. So, your implication that vaccination solves every problem is just not really – I would say that that has not been substantiated based on what’s happened in training camp this year, that’s all.
When the same reporter asked, “How many players on the team are still not vaccinated?” Belichick responded:
Yeah. Again. I’m not going to get into that. Those are all personal decisions, and that’s not my place to talk about another person’s decision or medical condition.
Mr. Belichick appears to highly regard individual choice and privacy, something that few politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Media figures acknowledge, let alone seem to respect.
While many in the pop media push the conceited idea that others should be forced to expose their medical info (the feds claimed the power to do that when they passed HIPAA in 1996, but few people know this), and, while the same media elite seem to think they can tell those who haven’t been injected to get said jabs, Belichick is hands-off. He recognizes the worth and private lives of his team members, and, more generally, other people.
Wouldn’t it be nice if more folks offered their neighbors such respect?
That’s a winning strategy for freedom.