Allen Kim

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Speaks Out On Aaron Hernandez

Created on Jul. 24, 2013 6:25 PM EST

For the first time since Aaron Hernandez’s arrest, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media to address the situation.

"It's a sad day, it's a really a sad day on so many levels," Belichick said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim and I extend my sympathy, really, to everyone that's been impacted.

"A young man lost his life. And his family's suffered a tragic loss and there's no way to understate that. When I was out of the country, I learned about the ongoing criminal investigation that involved one of our players. I and other members were shocked and disappointed in what we had learned. Having someone in your organization that's involved in a murder investigation is a terrible thing. After consultation with ownership, we acted swiftly and decisively."

It was a surprising departure from Belichick’s normally terse, almost emotionless press conferences. He was apologetic and remorseful, and he even took responsibility as the primary decision-maker for the team.

"As the coach of the team, I'm primarily responsible for the people that we bring into the football operation," Belichick said. "... Overall, I'm proud of the hundreds of players that have come through this program, but I'm personally disappointed and hurt in a situation like this."

While he wouldn’t go into detail, citing legal advice not to address the situation at length due to the ongoing investigation, he shed some light on the state of the organization following the arrest and how it is today.

"We'll learn from this terrible experience," Belichick said. "We'll become a better team from the lessons that we've learned. We have so many players on this team that work hard, that do the right thing, that set a great example of being a professional and being a solid representative of this team and the community."

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