Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick Will Not Accept Presidential Medal of Freedom From President Trump

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Sep 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shaking hands during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick announced Monday night that he would not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom after being nominated by President Trump.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, where the president honored the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots for their Super Bowl LI victory. Also pictured is New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, center. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In a statement reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Belichick wrote:

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 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.

On Monday, the White House announced the President would award the Medal to Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan.