New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick urged the U.S. government to “take action against Turkey” on Wednesday for its “unprovoked and deadly attacks on Armenians” in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
During a press availability, Belichick was asked about his reaction to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller using the coach’s catchphrase, “Do Your Job,” CBS Boston reported.
“Well, I really appreciate the kind words from Secretary Miller,” Belichick said. “When you consider the type of leadership that he’s shown throughout his career serving our country, it really means a lot. I’m flattered by the reference that he made.”
That was not all Belichick had to say.
“I’ll just say, while we’re on the subject, I read his point about combating traditional threats. And I couldn’t help but think and hope that we’ve seen from other countries around the world, and I hope that our country will take action against Turkey and Azerbaijan for their unprovoked and deadly attacks on Armenians,” Belichick added. “We’ve seen that when a humanitarian crisis and things like that, like ethnic cleaning, go unpunished, that they just continue to happen. I hope that we can put a stop to that.”
Nagorno-Karabakh is legally part of Azerbaijan but inhabited by ethnic Armenians, who are indigenous to the land. In late September, a war erupted between Azeri and the Armenian separatist that, in practice, govern the land. Reports indicated that Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan’s, flooded the battlefield with Syrian mercenaries and have helped Azerbaijan invade and attack civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh’s population centers.
Turkey committed the first modern genocide in 1915 against the Armenian people that once inhabited the country. Turkish officials still deny to this day that it occurred.
Belichick has addressed about the situation in the region before. In a video posted to the director of football/head coach administration Berj Najarian’s Instagram page, Belichick praised the Armenians.
“I have learned that throughout Armenian history, regardless of any adversity or tragedy, the Armenian people have continued to thrive and persevere,” Belichick said. “I hope and pray for peace, justice, and the safety of the brave soldiers that are fighting for their nation’s recognition and freedom.”
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