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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who was due to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this week, turned down the honor instead, citing last week’s violence on the Capitol.
“I was recently offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, of which I was flattered out of respect for what the honor stands for and admiration for previous recipients,” the six-time Super legend said in a statement. Bowl and Trump’s prime supporter. The National Football League reported on Monday. “Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision was made not to go ahead with the award.”
“Above all, I am an American citizen with great respect for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team, “the statement read.
The president announced he would bestow Belichick the nation’s highest civilian honor this week, just days after pro-Trump protesters raided Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Trump was supposed to bestow the honor on the White House on Thursday.
Belichick and the president have known each other for years. Trump, in a rally before his 2016 election victory, even read a “letter of praise” from the New England manager.
Belichick’s decision to decline the honor at the White House is yet another blow to an increasingly isolated Trump, who has seen a wave of senior advisers leave in recent days, also citing the violence.
The president’s office did not immediately respond to the coach’s announcement.
In his statement, Belichick said that one of the most rewarding experiences in his 46 years with the NFL, 21 with the Patriots, was when the team began to openly discuss and address issues of inequality and social justice this season.
“Continuing these efforts by staying true to the people, team and country I love outweighs the benefits of any individual award,” he said.
This president is not fit to be in office, so anything he would concede to someone makes no sense.
Thank you, Coach Belichick, for turning down the Trump Award. https://t.co/qyxWJT5VAd
– Representative Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) January 12, 2021
Speaking on CNN on Monday, Massachusetts Democratic Rep Jim McGovern said he asked Belichick to decline the award.
“Bill Belichick should do the right thing and say, ‘No thanks,” McGovern said. On Monday night he praised the Patriots coach on Twitter for turning down the award.
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