One of President Donald Trump’s last act as president was supposed to include giving Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
President Trump announced this past weekend he would awarding Belichick the prestigious honor later this week. The Patriots head coach has been a known supporter of the 45th President of the United States in the past.
In a surprising twist, Belichick announced Monday night he would not be accepting the Medal of Freedom in light of the events surrounding the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week.
NFL insider Adam Schefter has the latest on Belichick’s stunning decision:
“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. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”
Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick will not be traveling to Washington nor accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he announced today. pic.twitter.com/uvLLigFlHU
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2021
Plenty of NFL fans are pleased with Bill Belichick’s decision to refuse the award and ceremony, given the recent events surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency.
It’s still surprising Belichick did so, though, considering how supportive he’s been of Mr. Trump during the past few years.