It’s toxic for anyone to be connected with President Trump these days. High-ranking employees of his are worried about being cancelled when they enter the workforce in a week or so, and Monday Bill Belichick turned down Trump’s Medal of Freedom he offered him.
The NFL coaching legend said while he was flattered to be offered the award, ht had to turn it down because of the pro-Trump rioters that stored the Capitol last Wednesday.
“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 said. “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.”
The six-time Super Bowl winning coach and Trump go way back, and have had a fairly close relationship over the years. A number of sports legends have received Medal of Freedom recognition during Trump’s final days in office, including Lou Hotlz, Gary Player, Dan Gable and Tiger Woods.
The medal goes to those “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
It’s an award that’s hard to say “no” to, but Belichick felt he needed to. “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.”
One other award we know Belichick is not receiving this year is another Super Bowl title.