New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wants the franchise to put the Aaron Hernandez situation behind them and move on.
Hernandez was arrested on June 26 on a murder charge, which he denies, and immediately had his contract with the Patriots cancelled.
The 61-year-old coach admitted that he was shocked and disappointed upon hearing the news.
“When I was out of the country, I learned about the ongoing criminal investigation that involved one of our players,” he said. “I and other members were shocked and disappointed in what we had learned.
“Having someone in your organisation that’s involved in a murder investigation is a terrible thing. After consultation with ownership, we acted swiftly and decisively (in cancelling Hernandez’s contract).”
Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, said the franchise was now keen to move on.
“As the coach of the team, I’m primarily responsible for the people that we bring into the football operation,” he added. “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.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, and I extend my sympathy 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.
“I’ve been advised to address the subject once, it’s time for the New England Patriots to move forward.”