By 98.5 The Sports Hub Staff
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is taking a more active role in working with his players on social justice initiatives in the wake of recent events across the country. He credited Pats safety Devin McCourty with inspiring him to do so.
"Conversations across our country and within our team will help lead to paving the way for a better future. Following your lead, and the example of other incredible men on our team, I look forward to increasing my role in this process," Belichick said in the above video address to McCourty, who was accepting the "Uncornered Champion" honor as part of a virtual fundraiser. "Healthy discussion leads to actions. And actions that you have brought to the forefront have resulted in progress."
McCourty has long been one of New England's most active athletes in the community and most prominent voices in social justice for African Americans. He and twin brother Jason spoke at the Mass. State House as they spearheaded efforts to help pass Bill S.238, also known as the PROMISE Act. The bill, passed in 2019, modified public school funding to provide more equitable education opportunities for youths in the state.
Social justice has risen to the forefront of all discussions across the United States in the weeks following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and subsequent protests across the country. Previous reports indicated that Belichick had a prominent role in facilitating "open conversations about recent events" with players. One unnamed player said the Patriots couldn't have had such talks without Belichick's own leadership.
"Devin, it has truly been an honor to coach you, not only for what you've meant to our football team, but to see you become a great and inspirational man," Belichick said in his remarks. "You are the ultimate role model. You have given us great leadership on and off the field since 2010 when we drafted you in the first round."
McCourty will ostensibly serve as a Patriots team captain once again in 2020.