Bill Belichick’s shameful treatment of reporters kicks off training camp season

If the New England Patriots couldn’t already be viewed as the NFL’s Evil Empire after Spygate and a decade on top of the AFC, Deflategate’s two-year saga has revealed the Pats at the league’s true antagonists. The surliest and most arrogant team in the NFL managing to get even more surly and arrogant after Tom Brady was accused of cheating by deflating footballs during their championship run.

Head coach Bill Belichick in particular has ramped up his surliness since the scandal, dismissing any questions in regards to the suspension of Tom Brady. Getting annoyed by questions that were obviously going to be asked to open training camp about the dynamic of Brady being suspended while the young Jimmy Garoppolo fills in for Touchdown Tom.

Belichick was visibly annoyed when asked by a reporter if Garoppolo could change the Patriots dynamic at quarterback with impressive play during training camp and then during the regular season starts during Brady’s suspension. Going as far as dropping a “Jesus Christ” at a reporter for even bringing up the question during the first week of training camp.

Belichick’s awful treatment of reporters is nothing new as for his entire run with the Patriots the head coach has viewed the media as an annoyance that aren’t above being belittled. NFL Network’s Albert Breer infamous demotion from the Patriots beat largely due to Belichick’s disdain for his reporting a sign of how the media in Foxboro are treated.

There is a case to be made that Belichick has the right to be annoyed about Deflategate and the suspension Brady will have to sit through a full season after the fact, but this is the bed the Pats have made with their alleged cheating. With Brady suspended, Belichick should know he has to face the music and the questions about his quarterback’s absence. Especially at the start of training camp where the media have stories to cover and answers to gather from the head coach, reporters asking Belichick questions are simply doing their jobs they are paid to do and don’t deserve to be belittled.

Further, Belichick’s dismissive attitude towards Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t inspire much confidence in the backup quarterback who he needs to play at a high level to open the season. For a tactician like Belichick, his frustration towards reporters was a moment of mental weakness to get his point across that Brady is his starter that simply wasn’t needed.

Belichick has been getting a pass for his treatment of the media for years as fans simply do not care how the head coach treats reporters who are simply doing their jobs, but for a man who likes to preach the ethos of professionalism to his players it is quite hypocritical from Belichick to treat beat reporters so poorly. Don’t expect it to change anytime soon as an annoyed Belichick this early into Patriots camp is a sign that reporters should be walking on eggshells during media availability with the coach. Even if they shouldn’t have to as Belichick should be far more professional than he is to the local media in New England.

About Chase Ruttig

Chase Ruttig is a Canadian sportswriter who covers North American sports for various outlets.