New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick will not accept Presidential Medal of Freedom

Bill Belichick said Monday in part "the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award."
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(KLKN) – Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots Head Coach, was to receive the President Medal of Freedom award from President Trump on Thursday.  Monday night he said he wouldn’t be accepting it or traveling to Washington.

He issued this statement explaining his 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. 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.”

Belichick and President Trump have been friends for many years, and have spoken fondly of each other in the past.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is given to people who have made exceptional contributions to the security of national interests in America, to world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

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