Patriots coach Belichick calls on US to take action against Turkey and Azerbaijan for attacks on Armenians
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called for U.S. action on behalf of Armenia in ongoing clashes along its border with Azerbaijan.
Reporters at Belichick’s Wednesday morning press conference asked him for his reaction to a memo from acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller invoking the coach’s “Do Your Job” slogan. Miller had added to military personnel, “We are a team, and that should be our mindset.”
“Well, I really appreciate the kind words from Secretary Miller,” Belichick said in the video call, according to CBS Boston. “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.”
“I’ll just say, 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 continued. “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 weighed in on Armenian politics before, making similar comments in a video posted to Patriots director of football Berj Najarian’s Instagram profile in October.
Nejarian himself has long spoken out on issues relating to Armenia and has urged the U.S. to recognize the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks as a genocide despite pressure from Turkey to not use the designation. Nejarian said he directly pressed then-President Obama on the matter when the team visited the White House in 2015.
The Boston area has one of the country’s largest concentrations of Armenian immigrants and their descendants, with about 50,000, according to the Armenian Diaspora Survey, which tracks Armenian communities.