New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is notorious for his demeanor with sports reporters, which could be described as curt at best.
During the controversy around Antonio Brown, who was released from the Patriots after 11 days due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Belichick repeatedly refused to answer questions about how much the team knew of the allegations before signing him, and walked out of at least two interviews.
CBS reporter Dana Jacobson recently asked Belichick about the decision to cut wide receiver Antonio Brown.
“We’re focused on the Jets today,” Belichick said.
“Thank you, coach,” Jacobson replied.
Belichick did not return the thank you, but instead made extended direct eye contact with Jacobson for a second or two, before walking away silently.
"To me it was a clear tactic of intimidation," NBC Sports Boston reporter Trenni Kusnierek told Boston Public Radio on Tuesday.
Kusnierek said Belichick's behavior to reporters seeking information about Antonio Brown has been unacceptable.
"If you don't want distractions, if you don't want to be answering questions about someone who behaves badly, then don't sign him," she said. "You do not get to escape it just because — and this isn't a game question, I understand when he gets frustrated and he doesn't want to answer a game question, he doesn't want to give away a strategy, that's part of his thing. But don't pretend you don't have to answer questions about [Antonio Brown.]"
She rebuked criticism that Belichick doesn't owe reporters an answer on a personnel matter.
"For those of you at home saying 'He doesn't have to answer those questions, what does he owe you guys?' I'll tell you what he owes us," she said. "NBC, CBS, ESPN, all of those entities pay literally billions of dollars to have the rights, not just to the games but to have access to the people who play those games, so if you don't want to play the game, if you don't want to, and I'm going to borrow a Belichick phrase here, 'Do your job,' then retire from your job, because it is part of your job."