NFLAmerican coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots Football Club has declined the White House’s invitation to receive President Donald Trump’s Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the highest honor bestowed on citizens of the United States.
Belichick explained his decision in a statement, without mentioning the president’s name. He was referring to the events of last week in Washington when Trump supporters stormed and entered the Capitol. Five people were killed in the unrest.
The 68-year-old American has been with the Patriots since 2000. With quarterback Tom Brady as the centerpiece of his team, Belichick has won the Super Bowl six times, the NFL Championship.
“Recently, I was offered to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I was very flattered by that, by what the award represents and by admiration for the people who were allowed to receive it earlier, ”Belichick writes. “This was followed by the tragic events of the past week and the decision was made not to receive the award. I am an American citizen with great respect for the values, freedom and democracy of our country.
“I know I represent my family and the New England Patriots,” said the refined coach. “In 2020, our club leaders began discussions on social justice and human rights. These have led to promotions, one of the best things of my professional career. Continuing these efforts and staying true to the people, the team and my country is more important to me than an individual reward.
Trump was backed in his 2016 presidential campaign by Belichick, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and then star player Brady.
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