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Whitlock: Bill Belichick is anti-vax-mandate, and I love it
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Whitlock: Bill Belichick is anti-vax-mandate, and I love it

Based on his comments Wednesday morning, it's fair to conclude Bill Belichick is no fan of the NFL's nonsensical and highly divisive COVID protocols.

The Patriots' head coach started his day meeting with the media. For about 10 minutes, reporters probed football's greatest coach for insight into the reasoning that caused the team to cut starting quarterback Cam Newton. Belichick provided no such insight. He dodged every direct question concerning Cam and pivoted to offering not-so-subtle gripes about the league's convoluted and authoritarian COVID protocols.

When asked if Cam's unvaccinated status contributed to his departure, here's how Belichick responded:

"No. Look, you guys keep talking about that. I would just point out that I don't know what the number is — you guys can look it up, you have the access to a lot of information — but the number of players, coaches, and staff members that have been infected by COVID in this training camp who have been vaccinated is a pretty high number. So I wouldn't lose sight of that."

Later in the press conference, a reporter asked a second question regarding Cam's vaccination status and the impact of Cam missing practice because of the league's COVID protocols.

"No, we have other players on the team who are not vaccinated, as I would say probably every other team in the league," Belichick said. "And we've had minimal, but throughout the league there've been a number of, quite a high number I would say, of players who have had the virus who have been vaccinated.

"So your implication that the vaccination solves every problem, I would say that has not been substantiated, based on what has transpired in training camp this year. That's all."

Let's be clear. The reporter did not imply anything. Belichick knows this. He knows the NFL and the NFLPA have implied that the vaccine solves every problem. He knows that's not true. He knows the NFL isn't forcing the vaccine on its players out of concern for their safety. The league is doing it to appease critics of football. They're doing it to align with the Big Tech social media overlords.

The NFL knows that if it doesn't bully its players into taking the vaccine, corporate media will double and triple down on their assault on football. Roger Goodell and the league office have spent the past decade trying to make peace with their enemies through appeasement.

Who is the NFL's enemy? The political left, the people determined to tear down the patriarchy, the feminists who labeled masculinity toxic, the alleged journalists who have distorted football's concussion issue, the woke warriors who want to end football.

It's all connected. Goodell thinks fighting for football means making peace with people who hate football. It's not going to happen. Last year, the NFL bowed to the Black Lives Matter mob. The league draped itself in Marxist ideology and utopian slogans.

This year it's embracing pandemic panic. Forcing young men in relatively perfect health to inject an experimental drug is ludicrous. The NFL played an entire season a year ago with no one vaccinated. Did one NFL player die? Did any NFL player get hospitalized during the season with COVID?

These players are not all stupid sheep. They know the COVID survival rate. They know older, fat, unhealthy people are the people who should be taking extra precautions. They know the NFL has no business getting this deep into their medical decisions.

So does Bill Belichick. A reporter asked him to cite the number of unvaccinated Patriot players.

"I'm not going to get into that," he said. "Those are all personal decisions. And it's not my place to talk about a person's decision or medical condition."

What's going on in the NFL is a joke. It not only violates the players' personal rights, it violates the unifying tenets of team sports. Vaccinated and unvaccinated players are being treated differently in things as small as where they can eat in team facilities and what they can eat at the team facility. Unvaccinated players have to report to the facility much earlier than vaccinated players.

It's all stupid. It's all theater to appease the media.

Most of the vaccinated, including the coaches, took the vaccine under personal protest. You can't convince me a group of mostly 20-something men believe getting the vaccine is in their best interest.

The NFL is immersed in the same political theater as the rest of the country. Sports used to be a leader. Now our sports leagues are followers.

I'm as frustrated as Belichick.

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