New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick announced on Monday that he had refused to accept a presidential medal from President Trump, citing the deadly riots in the US Capitol last week. Mr. Trump was slated to give the 68-year-old the highest civilian honor this week, a White House official previously told CBS News.
Bellistic said in a statement obtained by CBS News that he was “flattering” for the opportunity to receive the medal, but the Capitol storm, which many have accused Mr Trump of provoking, changed his mind. gave. First reported by ESPN On Belichick’s statement.
“Subsequently, the tragic events of the last week occurred and the decision has been made not to proceed with the award,” he said. “Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our country’s values, freedom and democracy.”
“I know that I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team,” he said. “One of the most rewarding things in my professional career happened in 2020, when through great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights went to the forefront and became action. Continuing those efforts Happened, which is true. People, teams and the country love the benefits of any individual award. “
As Mr. Trump ended his last days as president, he planned to award the Medal of Freedom on Thursday, a White House official told CBS News. Belichick, who won six Super Bowl appearances as Patrick’s head coach, will be the fifth public figure to receive a medal since the uproar by a violent mob at the Capitol last week.
Less than 24 hours after the riot, three honors – former golfer Annika Sorenstem, Gary Player and Babe Zaharias – were awarded medals on Thursday. Trump’s aide Republican Congressman Jim Jordan received the medal on Monday.
Many critics of Mr. Trump andBlamed the President for inciting the crowd. House Democrats on Monday unveiled the impeachment motion, accusing Mr Trump of “inciting rebellion” tied to the January 6 attack.
At least one local MP said earlier on Monday that he believes Belichick should stay away from the medal. Congressman Jim McGovern, a Democrat representing Massachusetts Told CNN That Belichick should refuse it.
“Bill Belichick should do the right thing and say, ‘No thanks’ … to consider it disgusting,” he said.
Mr. Trump thinks highly of Belichick and considers the veteran coach a friend. Over the summer, Mr. Trump praised Bellistic and joked that he would ask him for military advice, after being asked whether Belichick or Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady had a better chance of winning the Super Bowl this year .
“This guy just knows how to win … You know, if I ever had a military fight, I would call Belichick and say do you think? What do you think? Give me some ideas.” Radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Bellistic was recently re-appointed to Mr. Trump’s Sports, Health and Nutrition Council in December, CBS Boston reported. The council aims, according to its website, to “increase sports participation among youth of all backgrounds and abilities and promote healthy and active lifestyles for all Americans.”
Kristin Brown contributed to this report.