As the United States and most of the world navigates unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a familiar face of resolve and victory sent out an encouraging message Wednesday.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick sat down to deliver inspiring and reassuring words to the general public, along with a message of gratitude for the medical professionals working to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
"Hello," Belichick said in a video tweeted by the team. "This is Bill Belichick. I want to reach out to you in these uncertain and unprecedented times to let you know that I and the New England Patriots are behind you. We are all in this together. Thank you to our heroic medical professionals, doctors, nurses, medical workers and others, who are selflessly and courageously doing their job to take care of others in need. We have heard your stories and seen some of your great work. You are truly champions and warriors.
"We are facing a difficult opponent. It will take teamwork, discipline and commitment to do the right things all the time. That includes staying at home. I encourage everyone to shelter in place as long as necessary as we fight this virus together. There are plenty of things we cannot do right now, but let's focus on what we can do. We can adapt, we can adjust and we can make better decisions right now for the betterment of the future.
"As I tell our team, let's keep stringing good days together and we will get through this."
To date, the NFL family has donated more than $35 million, including $3.4 million from the NFL Foundation as part of COVID-19 relief efforts.
In addition to these initial donations, the NFL family has come together to #StayHomeStayStrong to help limit the spread of COVID-19 across the country. As part of this effort, over 50 NFL players, coaches, and Legends have united to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to share with fans about the strength they are finding in staying at home. The league is also inviting the country to #NFLPLAY60 at home during this time to get their 60 minutes of exercise each day alongside the NFL. In March, the NFL launched a series of free digital learning and wellness resources for students, parents and teachers by teaming up with charitable partners such as the American Heart Association and United Way. These resources can be shared broadly and are currently housed on http://www.nfl.com/play60.
"We have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to unify to stay home and stay strong," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on March 26. "The NFL will continue to find ways to give our support so we can get through this time of uncertainty together."
Since late January, NFL Auction has been hosting a coronavirus auction to benefit the CDC Foundation and World Health Organization, first for China-specific efforts and now U.S.-based ones. Fans can bid on autographed and game-used memorabilia and special experiences.