When asked of the discussions the New England Patriots have had in wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wis., head coach Bill Belichick commended his locker room and the community activism from those within it.
“I’ll keep the things that happened within the team private within the team. That’s kind of the forum that we had, so I’ll maintain the integrity of that,” Belichick said Friday during a video conference call with reporters. “But I’ve certainly learned a lot, continue to learn a lot and we have an incredible group of players. I’m so proud of this team and the players we have on it – the way that they’re involved in each other’s lives as teammates, the way that they raise their families and are involved in the community on a number of different levels.”
Safety Devin McCourty, cornerback Jason McCourty and running back James White were not on the list of Patriots players scheduled to speak with the media on Thursday. But after the team practiced while several others around the NFL canceled or postponed, the veterans spoke on the issues of police brutality and racial injustice in America.
The day prior, quarterback Cam Newton and 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore were among those to do the same.
“We’ve always prided ourselves in doing things right and not only being a good football team but being a pillar in the community,” added Belichick. “That continues to be our goal and our expectation, and I’m so proud of what our players do on all those levels.”
In June, the Kraft family pledged $1 million in $100,000 monthly donations to local grassroots organizations, chosen in collaboration with Patriots players.