Throughout his storied career, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has developed a complicated image. He’s viewed by many as being one of the best coaches in NFL history (see his incredible success with the Patriots). Still others view him as something of a win-at-all-costs cheater (see SpyGate). On Sunday, he briefly added to his complicated image when some on social media wondered if he’s also a “mansplainer.” The mercurial coach was seen lecturing Sarah Thomas, the league’s only woman official, and a screen grab posted on Twitter by the website Deadspin appeared to show him awkwardly placing his hands on Thomas’ shoulders as he pleaded his case. The unusual exchange between Belichick and Thomas, who’s also a rookie official, caused many on social media to take pause and wonder if the incident was a case of mansplaining that demonstrates the pervasive sexism in the NFL — or if it was simply just more proof that Belichick is attempting to curry special treatment from the league. As Yahoo Sports points out, players or coaches touching the officials is a violation of NFL rules, however, a closer look at the video reveals Belichick came close, but didn’t actually make contact with Thomas’ shoulders. Either way, it’s eminently debatable. Was he mansplaining or just being a curmudgeonly coach trying to avoid a second consecutive loss? You be the judge.
Read the full story and watch video of the incident at Mashable.