New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick got into a lot of trouble this weekend with a comment he made about vaccines, asserting that a “high number of players, coaches and staff members” were diagnosed with COVID-19 despite getting their shots.
Belichick’s comments were meant with a strong rebuke from the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills. And on Monday, Belichick finally walked back his comments.
Per NFL insider Albert Breer, Belichick recently said that the team is “better off” if everyone gets vaccinated. But he acknowledged that simply being vaccinated isn’t the cure-all to everything that’s wrong.
“As a team, we’re better off if everyone is vaccinated,” Belichick said. “And as we’ve seen, even if we have everyone vaccinated, that doesn’t solve all our problems.”
Belichick further made it clear that vaccine status did not play a part in now-former Patriots QB Cam Newton getting cut last week.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick clarifies his COVID-19 comments: "As a team, we're better off if everyone is vaccinated. And as we've seen, even if we have everyone vaccinated, that doesn't solve all our problems."
Says it was "not a factor in any player's release or non-release."
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 6, 2021
The NFL is doing what it can to ensure that everyone in the league gets their vaccines. Everything from rewards to punishments has been presented as they try to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
But there are still players who have dug in their heels on the issue. The end result is players who are going to miss games this season due to COVID-19 infection.
Bill Belichick and other head coaches may want to walk on eggshells on this issue if they want to avoid losing star players for big games.