The legendary coach of the New England Patriots stunned many observers on Tuesday by refusing to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to him by President Trump.
Bellichick reportedly snubbed the President due to the attack on the Capitol building last Wednesday, the blame for which he seems to be laying at the feet of President Trump.
As ESPN reports:
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday he will not “move forward” with the Presidential Medal of Freedom that Donald Trump planned to present to him on Thursday.
Belichick explained his decision in a statement:
“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. 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.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says in statement he won't accept Presidential Medal of Freedom after “tragic events of last week,” adding that “remaining true to the people, team and country I love” is outweighed by “benefits of any individual award.” https://t.co/0QSO53sHLK pic.twitter.com/drH9oeP0bE
— ABC News (@ABC) January 12, 2021