BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump this week. In a statement released Monday night, Belichick said after the attack on the Capitol last week, the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.
Statement from Bill Belichick:
“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 was scheduled to receive the highest civilian honor on Thursday.
Several Massachusetts lawmakers said it would be “disgraceful” for Belichick to accept the award this week.
Last Thursday, less than 24 hours after the riot, former golfers Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and Babe Zaharias were awarded the medal. On Monday, President Trump awarded the medal to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.