President Donald Trump Appoints Bill Belichick to White House Sports Council - NBC Connecticut
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President Donald Trump Appoints Bill Belichick to White House Sports Council

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump Reads Belichick's Letter of Praise

    Presidential candidate Donald Trump reads a letter he says was sent to him by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in which Belichick endorses and praises him. (Published Monday, Nov. 7, 2016)

    President Donald Trump announced Friday he plans to appoint New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to the President's Council on Sport, Fitness and Nutrition.

    Trump also announced the appointment of former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, U.S. women's volleyball legend Misty May-Treanor and former NFL star Herschel Walker as co-chairs of the council.

    Other members appointed along with Belichick include former Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon, actor and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, Dr. Mehmet Oz, golfer Natalie Gulbis and 15 others.

    The commission's stated goal is to "educate and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition." While it has focused mainly on nutrition in the past, Trump reportedly wants it to lean more toward encouraging youth sports participation.

    Belichick's appointment comes a week after Trump and Belichick reportedly had a long telephone conversation. A New York Times profile on White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said Kelly recently "marveled that Mr. Trump had spent a long time the day before on the phone with Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots coach, talking about the status of Tom Brady, the star quarterback."

    Brady and Trump were once close, but Brady has distanced himself from the president in recent years, even criticizing the president for his stance on players standing during the national anthem.

    Belichick has long been a supporter of Trump. Just before the 2016 election, Trump announced that Belichick had sent him a letter endorsing his candidacy.

    "Our friendship goes back many years and I think that anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me knows I'm not a political person," Belichick said after news of his letter was made public.

    "To me, friendship and loyalty is just about that. It's not about political or religious views. I write hundreds of letters and notes every month. Doesn't mean that I agree with every single thing that every person thinks about, politics, religion or other subjects, but I have multiple friendships that are important to me, and that's what that was about," he added.