Political figures aren’t the only ones vulnerable to fake news. Professional sports are now rife with sensationalist claims conveniently attributed to “anonymous” sources.
NFL coach Bill Belichick of New England Patriots fame is fighting back. The legendary coach was on Dale & Holley with Keefe on Monday when he dispelled rumors propagated by ESPN the Magazine‘s cover story, WEEI reports.
Bill Belichick talks about a great football environment in Denver. “I’m sure it will be lit up.” pic.twitter.com/spVtQ0vnQb
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 8, 2017
The ESPN story focused on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s TB12 method, an advanced training approach developed by Brady and his personal trainer Alex Guerrero. Brady himself claims to put TB12 into practice, crediting it with his successful football playing at age 40.
But the ESPN feature alleges there are major tensions between Guerrero and coach Belichick.
“The apparent vote of confidence comes even as Brady has found himself in the middle of a conflict between the Patriots and Guerrero, with Guerrero blaming the team’s trainers for injuries some of his clients have suffered and with Belichick making it resoundingly clear that Guerrero has no actual role on his staff.”
The article quotes “a friend of Belichick’s” as saying “There’s a collision coming.”
The author of the ESPN piece also went on to say the coach plans to keep working long enough to ensure his sons, Steve and Brian–who are also coaches– “are secure, and possibly long enough to establish a truly dynastic succession.”
— Macbeth (@JCS512210) October 24, 2017
In his interview with Dale & Holley with Keefe, Belichick unequivocally denied the allegations ill feelings between himself, Brady, and Guerrero, going so far as to use the phrase “fake news,” which often has political connotations.
“I am not really sure if there’s a specific question here,” Belichick said. “I mean, as usual, I think a lot of comments in the article you’re referring to were unattributed to anybody, if I am not mistaken. I don’t think anybody said anything. This is just a general random opinion about I am not sure exactly what. If we would like to talk about somebody who has an informed opinion about something that is one thing, I mean otherwise we’re just talking about a lot of fake news here about just putting out a lot of things that are unattributable. As usual. I’d say we get a lot of that.”
The widely-respected coach also made his relationship with Guerrero clear.
“Well, Alex works with Tom and Tom’s facility and that’s really about the end of it,” he explained. “If a player goes up there for a second opinion, or treatment, or whatever, that’s fine. No different than one who went to his own chiropractor or massage therapist, or whatever it happens to be.”
Belichick claims to still get along with Brady, calling their relationship “Good. Consistent. I’ve met with Tom at least twice a week for the last 16 years.”
It’s unfortunate that even in the sports world, many journalists prefer to invent their own stories rather than reporting the facts as they are.