Bill Belichick wrote a letter to Donald Trump during the 2016 United States presidential election, and it was a gesture not well received by leaders of the Patriots locker room.

The ninth episode of “The Dynasty” dove deep into the unraveling relationships between Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft. Current and former New England players never hesitate to shower Belichick with praise, but Tedy Bruschi perfectly described in the Apple TV+ docuseries how it can be tough to play for the future Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach.

That included off-the-field matters when Trump, on the eve of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, read what Belichick wrote to him in his letter.

“My relationship with Donald Trump isn’t political,” Belichick said on “The Dynasty. I knew him long before he got into politics. Donald is a friend, and I wrote a personal letter.”

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It was a gesture met with confusion in the New England locker room.

“When the letter came out, I felt kind of like, we got kind of bamboozled,” Devin McCourty said in the Apple TV+ docuseries. “Bill always said things like, ‘We don’t have to be in the media talking about these different things.’ I had some opinions I might have wanted to share, but out of respect to the team, I didn’t.”

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Adam Vinatieri revealed Belichick threatened to fine Matt Light if he spoke too much to the media, which spoke to how the former Patriots head coach wanted to keep a tight ship. However, players felt Belichick went against his word when his letter to Trump was revealed.

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“I personally thought it was very hypocritical,” Matthew Slater said on “The Dynasty. “‘The Patriot Way’ starts with respecting the men you’re working alongside and putting the team first. That’s the foundation for this place. I don’t think he was connected enough with his players at that time to realize that was going to have an impact on the locker room.”

The Patriots went 14-2 and accomplished the largest comeback in Super Bowl history in their win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, but there still were tough periods during the 2016 season.

“That was a trialing year, not just cause of what’s happening behind the scenes and in the building but what’s going on socially all over the country,” Slater said. “It felt like there was tension everywhere.”

Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty raised their fists during the national anthem before a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, and a year later, multiple players kneeled and locked arms during the national anthem. The protests came while it was publicly known Belichick, Kraft and Brady had friendly relationships of differing degrees with Trump, who criticized NFL players for peacefully protesting during the national anthem and spreading awareness of police brutality.

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“The things that Trump would say, it would make me angry,” McCourty said. “But here we were, we were seen as like ‘Team Trump.’ Trump was either friends or friendly with the top three people of our organization. Kraft’s relationship with him, they were friends. Tom had a hat in his locker. Bill wrote a letter to him. When the faces of the team support something individually that has nothing to do with a team, that gets thrown on a team and we all have to take that. When Trump called us “sons of b–ches,” the whole locker room is talking about what are we going to do during the anthem.

“You felt the impact right away. You heard the boos, and this is what we think most of our Patriots fans feel. They don’t know us as players. Those men they come and cheer for, the jerseys they buy, they don’t know us. Everyone went to work worn down, we were like, ‘Man, this is hard.’

“The one thing is when you play for the Patriots, every year we felt like we had an opportunity to win a championship. when you feel that, everyone says to themselves let’s just try to win a championship. you do your job.”

New England went to two more Super Bowls after the 2016 season, but it was after Super Bowl LIII that marked the end of the legendary run led by Belichick and Brady.

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Featured image via GREG LOVETT/THE PALM BEACH POST via USA TODAY Sports Images