FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday the letter he wrote to Donald Trump before Election Day was done out of a friendship that goes back many years and was ''not politically motivated.''
Belichick addressed the letter during a regularly scheduled news conference held hours after the billionaire business was elected president and two days after he read it aloud at a campaign rally in New Hampshire.
The letter congratulated Trump on his campaign and praised him for overcoming ''slanted and negative media'' to ''come out beautifully.'' But Belichick said he writes hundreds of notes every month and that it ''doesn't mean I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about politics, religion or other subjects.''
''I think anybody that's spent more than five minutes with me knows I'm not a political person,'' Belichick said Wednesday. ''My comments are not politically motivated. I have a friendship and loyalty to Donald. A couple of weeks ago we had former Secretary of State (John) Kerry in our locker room. He's another friend of mine. I can't imagine two people with more different political views than those two. But to me, friendship and loyalty are just about that. It's not about political or religious views.''
Kerry visited the Patriots' locker room when they played at Pittsburgh on Oct. 23.
''I have multiple friendships that are important to me and that's what that was about,'' Belichick said. ''So it's not about politics, it's about football.''
When Belichick was asked follow-up questions about the letter and whether it caused any division in New England's locker room, he repeated ''Seattle'' five times, referencing that the team is focused on preparing for Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
''We got a huge game this week against a great football team, and a great organization,'' he said. ''And that's where it all is going forward. On Seattle.''
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