WASHINGTON, D.C. – New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick wore three Super Bowl rings to Thursday’s ceremony at the White House (the fourth will be coming later this year), in addition to a pin of the Armenian flag on his suit jacket.
While many focused on the rings, not to be overlooked is the meaning behind Belichick wearing the pin.
As Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet explained, Belichick was visiting the White House nearly 100 years to the day of the start of what historians refer to as the Armenian genocide in Turkey. By wearing the pin, Belichick showed respect to those affected while also honoring some who work closely with him today.
The New York Times wrote, “Armenians mark the date April 24, 1915, when several hundred Armenian intellectuals were rounded up, arrested and later executed as the start of the Armenian genocide and it is generally said to have extended to 1917. However, there were also massacres of Armenians in 1894, 1895, 1896, 1909, and a reprise between 1920 and 1923.”
The Times also wrote, “In the United States, a powerful Armenian community centered in Los Angeles has been pressing for years for Congress to condemn the Armenian genocide. Turkey, which cut military ties to France over a similar action, has reacted with angry threats. A bill to that effect nearly passed in the fall of 2007, gaining a majority of co-sponsors and passing a committee vote. But the Bush administration, noting that Turkey is a critical ally -- more than 70 per cent of the military air supplies for Iraq go through the Incirlik airbase there -- pressed for the bill to be withdrawn, and it was.”
President Barack Obama has also not referred to it as a genocide, which has led to some media-based criticism.
Photo: Bill Belichick, with Super Bowl rings and an Armenian flag pin on his suit, takes in the scene. pic.twitter.com/EDM3iG6l5b— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 23, 2015