Fact Check: Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Fired an Anthem Kneeler: 'Not On My Field'?

A rumor said that Bill Belichick had fired a player for kneeling during the national anthem.
Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images


NFL head coach Bill Belichick fired one or more New England Patriots players in September 2023 for kneeling during the U.S. national anthem.


Rating: Labeled Satire
Rating: Labeled Satire

On Sept. 22, 2023, the website published an article positing that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had fired a player for kneeling during the U.S. national anthem.

The story also appeared on a Facebook page associated with named SpaceX Lovers.

The article began as follows:

Breaking: Coach Belichick Just Fired An Anthem Kneeler, 'Not On My Field'

New England Patriots' Head Coach Makes a Definitive Statement Amidst Broader National Debate.

In a shocking turn of events, New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick has made a decisive move in the ongoing national debate around kneeling during the national anthem. A player from his roster was promptly released after taking a knee during the anthem in the most recent game. Belichick's justification was clear and succinct: "No anthem kneeling on my field."

However, this story was not true. describes its output as being satirical in nature, both on its "About Us" page and as a label above articles.

Similar satirical headlines about Belichick and kneeling were also shared in the past by The Dunning-Kruger Times. The Times is part of the America's Last Line of Defense network.

For example, two headlines from the Times read, "Belichick is In – Five NFL Coaches Now Forbid Kneeling in 'Protest'" and "Coach Belichick Overrules Players' Vote To Allow 'Protest' Kneeling: 'Not On My Field.'"

Back in reality, Belichick previously shared his thoughts about kneeling protests back in 2017. As CBS News reported at the time, the coach "neither endorsed nor condemned the players on his team who took a knee during the national anthem."

For further reading, we recently reported about a rumor that said Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had also dismissed players after they had knelt during the national anthem.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


Bill Belichick Releases Statement On Anthem Protests: "Immense Respect And Admiration For Our Players" - CBS Boston. 25 Sept. 2017,

Bruno, Alex. "Breaking: Coach Belichick Just Fired An Anthem Kneeler, 'Not On My Field.'", 22 Sept. 2023,