Last week, standing President Donald Trump announced New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It’s the highest honor a U.S. citizen can receive. However, Bill Belichick made it clear he won’t be receiving the honor from President Trump.
“Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients,” Belichick released in a statement. “Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.”
NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith applauded Belichick’s decision.
“I thought his position was extremely important. Frankly, I thought his statement was spot on,” Smith said via Mark Maske.
NFLPA’s De Smith on Bill Belichick: “I thought his position was extremely important…. Frankly, I thought his statement was spot on.”
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) January 12, 2021
“Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy,” Belichick’s statement continued. “I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team.”
Belichick had shown support for President Trump in the past. However, after the storming of the U.S. Capital, the Patriots head coach made a clear break from the events that took place.
It’s unclear if incoming president Joe Biden will offer the honor to Belichick. In the meantime, Belichick will have his hand full rebuilding a Patriots team that missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
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