NFL Coach Belichick refuses Presidential Medal of Freedom, cites breach of U.S. Capitol building

by Laura Mize · Jan 12th, 2021 1:51 pm

Last Updated Jan 13th, 2021 at 9:06 pm

Coach Bill Belichick, of the NFL's New England Patriots, says he will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom that President Donald Trump wants to award him.

"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 in a Monday statement. "Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award."

Belichick's announcement follows the incursion of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.

Belichick also mentioned team action surrounding social justice issues.

"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," he said. "Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team, and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award."


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